Warm Winter Vegetable Salad

Oh, the flavors of warm winter vegetables! The rich aroma and comfort of roasted food. With both sweet and savory gracing these greens, turnip, squash and brussel sprouts make this salad more of a meal. One of the greatest pleasures of winter has to be cooking comfort food. This salad embraces to greens of the garden and the fruits of the fall harvest. Let me tell you how to make my warm winter vegetable salad!

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Ingredient List

  • 2/3 cup turnip, diced small
  • 15 brussel sprouts, halved
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 cup winter squash or sweet potato, diced
  • 2 pieces of bacon, cut into pieces
  • olive oil and vinegar
  • salt, pepper and garlic powder
  • ground sage
  • apple cider or white vinegar, I like white balsamic
  • 3 cups of salad greens
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds 

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    Brussel sprouts…

Instructions 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. After assembling all ingredients, prepare turnip, onion, brussel sprouts and squash.

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Turnip!

Place veggies on a sheet pan covered in parchment paper for easy cleanup.

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Brussel sprouts are facing up!

Try not to overcrowd the pan.

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Don’t overcrowd!

Drizzle on a bit of olive oil, garlic powder, sage, salt and pepper. Distribute the bacon pieces.

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Add the seasoning.

Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes or until golden. Check halfway through and stir.

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Just look at that roasted goodness.

Arrange salad greens on two plates. Pour on desired amount of vinegar. Just enough to moisten, do not soak the greens. Allow veggies to cool for a bit. Put warm vegetables on top of the salad greens.

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Assemble the salad.

Garnish with pomegranate seeds for color and flavor.

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Talk about beautiful!

Serve immediately. This warm winter vegetable salad should be consumed right away or assembled just before eating. Serves two people.

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Tim to grab a fork!

Thank you to all of you giving feedback about these garden to table recipes. Winter salads can be so nourishing. There’s nothing like using homegrown or local produce in the kitchen. I’m gearing up for a garden planning post for next week. With these arctic temperatures outside, there’s no better time for spring garden planning! Thanks for stopping by!

Hilary|Everlongardener

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Kale Salad With Apricots

Wintertime is no time to be slacking on eating your greens! Vitamin rich kale is a great choice for bolstering yourself against the winter cold.  This week, I’ve put together a sweet and crunchy kale salad with dried apricots, goat cheese and candied pecans. Perfect for lunch or as a salad to start an evening meal. Now, let’s get started. This kale salad goes together quickly!

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Ingredients List

  • kale, about 3 cups
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced onion or chives
  • 4 dried apricots, I like unsulphered
  • 1/8 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

To candy the pecans, I used the toaster oven.  Put pecans on the greased tray. Evenly pour the maple syrup over the nuts. Only toast for a few minutes, until crunchy and glazed. Remove from pan immediately to a plate.

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Toasting the pecans.

In a large salad bowl, cut up the cleaned kale leaves into pieces with kitchen scissors.

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Cut up the kale.

Add the onions or chives to the salad.

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Onions or chives.

Sprinkle with oil and vinegar until greens are moist but not soggy.

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Oil and vinegar.

Top the kale with the shredded carrot. Distribute goat cheese over this. Then add the apricots and pecans. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Chopped dried apricots.

Serve immediately or store in the fridge for a day or so. This kale salad generously serves two and makes a beautiful presentation.

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The fully assembled salad!
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I know you want this salad!

Omit the maple syrup if you like. Toasted pecans are delicious plain in this salad also. Winter can be cold and long so get in the kitchen and make some really great food! I look forward to your feedback on this recipe!

Hilary|Everlongardener

A Frosty December Morning

I knew that it was a frosty December morning outside. As the sun rose up through the spruce and oak trees, every glistening bit of frost was lit up like tiny lights. More enchanting than snowflakes it seemed. Every moment that went by the sun got a bit higher. It highlighted every leaf, every branch and everything that had been kissed by this frosty morning coating.

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So much to capture before the sun melted all of this thick, natural glitter. The small scalloped leaves leftover on the low growing perennials. The oak leaves left on the lawn. Acorns and beech nuts scattered on the ground. Hydrangea blossoms left on the branches.

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Even what seemed to be weeds in the field turned into diamond studded treasures at dawn.

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Goldenrod in the field.

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The last of the rosebuds still suspended upon the shrubs. Buds that had formed in November when the days were unusually warm. They dried in place, preserved before they could fully open.

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Rosa rugosa…
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‘Heritage’ rose.

Bold red winterberries looked as if they were coated in a sweet, sparkly  coating. So striking against the grey and brown landscape. Some of the only color left around here.

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Winter berries…

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Structural elements in the garden looked beautiful as well. The chicken wire that we used as a pea fence, the trellis and the arbors. All shining in the morning sunlight.

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The farm was aglow with frost too. Fence posts and electric wires dipped in this dazzling December frost. The cows breath was steamy as they reached for their hay through the cold metal bars.

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Every shrub and bush was touched by this frosty morning. As the sun rose, the ice crystals began to melt. I dashed around the garden for a few moments trying to capture the essence of this frosty December morning.

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The field grass appeared to be spun silver. As if one could ball it up like yarn and knit it into a fine metallic cloak. Then, all at once the frost began to disappear into mist.

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The frosty rail.

Just wanted to share this gleaming beauty with all of you this week. The seasons change and with them come endless dramatic phenomena. Since that busy morning that I captured these photos, we have had two storm systems float through. It has really become quite messy. Soon there will be garden planning and seed orders to think about. But, for now there is a welcome rest from gardening outdoors. Until next time…

Hilary|Everlongardener

How To Plant A Bulb Container Garden

Did you happen to pick up some bulbs in the clearance bin? Did you miss out on getting your spring bulbs planted this fall? Spring bulb container garden to the rescue! Perfect for dressing up your porch or doorstep next spring! All you need is an adequate container, spring bulbs and soil. Let’s go through the steps.

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First, pick a container for your bulb container garden. In this instance I will be using an apple basket. A plastic plant pot would also work. Make sure the receptacle is large enough to accommodate at least 12”of soil. Since this will be frozen outside, I would not recommend using clay or ceramic. You will likely end up with a broken pot come spring! Smaller pots will not have enough soil to insulate these bulbs.

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An ordinary apple basket.

Check over the bulbs that you have. Read the packaging to see how deep the bulbs need to be planted. In my case, I had tulips, daffodils and scilla. Therefore, the tulips needed a depth of 6-8”. Think about the layers under the ground in a real garden.

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Placing the tulip bulbs.

Put a layer of regular potting soil in the bottom of the basket. Nestle the bulbs into the soil evenly, at least 2” apart. Cover the bulbs with a few inches of dirt.

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More bulbs…

Now add the bulbs such as daffodils that call for 6”. Try to place them randomly and not directly over the tulips.

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Pressing the soil down.

Now, add more soil but leave about 4” from the top.

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Pay attention to planting depth!

Next, place any smaller bulbs like scilla or snowdrops. Sprinkle with a light layer of bulb food. Cover with additional soil. Leave about an inch at the top. Give the planter a gentle watering. That’s it. You’ve just made a spring bulb container garden!

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Covering the soil with leaves.

Since this whole project mimics a normal garden, cover the soil with a blanket of leaves, pine needles or evergreens. Place in a protected spot. In spring remove the bedding to allow the bulbs to come up. Plant pansies or Johnny-Jump-Ups in the planter as the bulbs emerge for a great doorstep look. A miniature bulb garden!

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Daffodils In a spring garden!

There’s nothing like planting some bulbs to get you dreaming of spring. A bulb planted is a promise of a new gardening season! If you have some bulbs kicking around, don’t let them go to waste. Find a container, get some soil and start planting! I’ll share pictures in the spring of how it comes out. I’ve got some garden fresh recipes coming to the blog soon, perfect for winter! Maybe even a kitchen herb garden DIY. Make sure that you subscribe so you don’t miss a thing. Thanks for tagging along this week!

Hilary|Everlongardener