Who said salads are a summer thing? Salads can be a delicious meal or side dish all year round. The wonderful thing about salads is that you can create so many different combinations using seasonal ingredients to make a healthy, tasty and beautiful salad.
We never thought one of the most popular recipes on the blog would be a salad. Don’t get me wrong, we love salads when they are packed full of yummy ingredients combined with a lovely salad dressing. So, after the success that our Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quinoa Salad had, we want to share another of our favourites salads.
Our favourite day to prepare a salad at home is Monday. We find it the perfect way to get back on track after the weekends. That said, we love having salads as a side dish, especially during big dinners like Christmas or Thanksgiving. A healthy salad is well needed to balance the rest of the feast.
This recipe is really nutritious containing broccoli, pomegranate, almonds, smoked tofu, green leaves and a delicious tahini dressing. Our winter salad is vegan, gluten-free and oil-free.
How to build the perfect salad
We have a rule at home when making salads. Our salads need to be made of five layers:
Base: For this salad, we used a combination of lettuce and spinach. As we will be adding warm ingredients, we prefer to use leaves that will not wilt easily with the heat.
Fruit & Veggies: Roasted broccoli and pomegranate. For this salad, we finely slice the broccoli before roasting it. To make sure the broccoli doesn’t burn, roast it at low temperature. Pomegranates are at their best around this time of the year, so better make the most of it as they are a natural anti-oxidant and anti-viral.
Protein: For this meal, we add smoked tofu. What we love so much about the smoked tofu is that you can use it raw with no need to add any flavour to it and it’s delicious adding a smoky flavour to your salad. You can substitute this for regular tofu, cooking it briefly in the pan with some soy sauce.
Nuts or Seeds: A proper salad needs a bit of crunch. We add to our salad roasted almonds. Simply add the almonds into the baking tray where the broccoli is roasting 10 minutes before taking the broccoli out. Almonds will roast faster, so 10 minutes should be enough for them to be crunchy.
Salad Dressing: The best part of our winter salad is the delicious salad dressing we serve it with. It’s made with fresh mint, lemon juice, tahini and water. So rich and yummy! We know that tahini can be overpowering when eaten on its own or added in some dishes. Something magical happens when mixed with water and lemon juice. The tanginess of the tahini reduces and the taste is perfect to make dressings or sauces. We make a similar sauce for our Moroccan Tagine and we never manage to make enough! It’s just delicious so if you feel a bit unsure about tahini, we invite you to give it a try using our recipe.
How to prepare our Winter Salad Step by Step
- Preheat the oven to 180Cº fan assisted oven. Finely slice the broccoli florets and place them on a baking tray. Roast the broccoli for about 20 minutes or until it’s starting to brown. Be careful as the broccoli cooks quite fast. To avoid the broccoli from sticking to the pan, place a baking mat on the tray before adding the broccoli and drizzle some olive oil on the top.
- When the broccoli is halfway cooked, add into the same baking tray almonds. Bake for 10 more minutes and leave the ingredients to cool.
- Prepare the rest of the ingredients. Chop fresh spinach and lettuce, cut into small cubes the tofu and add everything into a big salad bowl. Finally, add the pomegranate.
- To prepare the salad dressing, simply combine tahini, freshly squeezed lemon juice, water, finely chopped mint leaves and a pinch of salt.
- When the broccoli and almonds have cooled, add them into the salad bowl. Add the salad dressing and mix well all the ingredients.
How to serve Winter Salad with Broccoli and Pomegranate
Our favourite way to serve this salad as a main dish is with some Pita Bread on the side. The dressing for this salad is so yummy that you will want to make sure none is left on the plate.
For Christmas or Thanksgiving, we love serving the salad as a side dish to our famous Vegan Nut Roast. The salad gives the meal a fresh and crunchy bite.
If you have leftover salad, you can save it in the fridge for the day after using an airtight container. At home, we never manage to leave any leftovers!
If you want to prepare this salad in advance, leave the dressing in a separate container and add into the salad right before eating it. This will keep the rest of the ingredients fresher. When my packed lunch is a salad, I love using my salad dressing container to keep the dressing separated from the rest of the ingredients. It’s small and really useful to keep the salad really fresh.
Winter Salad with Broccoli and Pomegranate
- 100 g fresh spinach
- 1 butterhead lettuce
- 1/4 broccoli
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 70 g or 1/2 pomegranate
- 60 g almonds
- 200 g smoked tofu
Salad Dressing Ingredients
- 2 tablespoon tahini
- 3 tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 10 mint leaves
- Preheat the oven to 180Cº (fan assisted oven). Finely slice the broccoli florets and place them on a baking tray. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil and bake for about 20 minutes or until it’s starts to brown.
- When the broccoli is half way cooked, add into the same baking tray the almonds. Bake for 10 more minutes and leave the ingredients to cool.
- Chop the fresh spinach and lettuce, cut into small cubes the smoked tofu and add everything into a big salad bowl. Finally, add the pomegranate.
- To prepare the salad dressing, simply combine the tahini, freshly squeezed lemon juice, water, finely chopped mint leaves and a pinch of salt.
- When the broccoli and almonds have cooled, add them into the salad bowl. Add the salad dressing, mix well all the ingredients and serve.
- Before serving, add some shredded almonds on the top for a great presentation.