Flavorful and Flexible Chopped Winter Salad

Flexible Chopped Winter Salad in bowls with forks

Being flexible is a quality I prize and personally try to cultivate. Not “pushover” flexible, just able to bob and shift to bring more ease into my life. It’s something I’ve certainly had to exercise over the past 10 months, with the pandemic dictating everything from who I see to how I grocery shop. Flexibility is also a quality I look for in the recipes I cook and create. I want you (and me) to be able to adjust to suit the moment and what’s in the pantry. This Flavorful and Flexible Chopped Winter Salad is built with exactly that in mind.

Start with Favorite Crunchy Vegetables

This bright, fresh salad is one I’ve been making in myriad forms over many years. The through line is that it’s always made up of a few key categories:

Vegetables. Any crunchy, hearty vegetables you enjoy eating raw will do. Carrots, fennel, kolhrabi, celery, radishes, daikon, and jicama are some of my favorites. Different combinations yield different flavors, but I recommend choosing at least three vegetables for the best result.

Leafy greens. Any crunchy lettuce or cabbage qualifies. I like Little Gems, Romaine hearts, and every type of cabbage.

Crisp fruit. I prefer a crunchy apple here, but have also used Asian pears and firm fuyu persimmons.

Nuts or cheese (or both). I love the crunch of toasted nuts in this salad and the hit of flavor from a good, hard cheese, such as Parmesan, Pecorino, or other aged varieties.

Dice it Small

I like to cut the vegetables, apples, and cheese into a small dice (about 1/4-inch). Your knife work doesn’t have to be precise, but making the pieces small means you get a little bit of everything in every bite. As for the greens, cut them crosswise into thin ribbons, which toss up nicely with the diced vegetables

Flexible Chopped Winter Salad in white bowls with forks

A Simple Dressing

You could take the dressing for this in many directions, but I think a really tangy one works best. It’s little more than apple cider vinegar with Dijon and olive oil. I also like to add a kick of flavor using fresh chives or scallions. Thinly sliced red onion would be a good swap if you prefer. And if you happen to have parsley or mint, you could toss a tablespoon or so in as well.

It’s that kind of salad. Flexible. Perhaps a little like we all are these days.

Check out these other Winter Salad Recipes:

Colorful Cabbage Salad with Apples and Walnuts

A Kale Salad Kids Love

Winter Kale Salad with Roasted Grapes, Persimmons, and Goat Cheese

Chicken, Orange, and Avocado Salad with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Shaved Spring Vegetable Salad (one I developed for Simply Recipes)

Winter Tabbouleh by Pamela Salzman

Flexible Chopped Winter Salad in white bowls with forks
5 from 1 vote

Flavorful and Flexible Chopped Winter Salad

A simple recipe to make the most of whatever vegetables you have in the fridge. Toss with a simple dressing along with any toasted nuts. It’s bright and crunchy, a welcome counterpoint to typical heavy winter dishes. 

Course Salad, lunch, dinner
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 to 5
Calories 230 kcal
Author Katie Morford


  • 3 cups diced crunchy raw winter vegetables in any combo (pick at least 3 types, such as carrots, fennel, celery, radishes, jicama, daikon, kohlrabi)
  • 3 cups shredded crunchy lettuce/cabbage (such as little gems, romaine hearts, or any variety of cabbage)
  • 2 crisp apples, diced, such as Pink Lady, Honey Crisp, or Granny Smith
  • ½ cup roasted nuts, chopped, such as almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, or walnuts
  • ½ cup diced flavorful hard cheese, such as Parmesan, Pecorino, aged Cheddar, aged Gruyere (leave out for vegan version)
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives or 3 sliced scallions
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (I used Diamond Crystal brand)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Put the vegetables, lettuce/cabbage, apples, nuts, cheese, and chives in a large bowl and toss well.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, olive oil, salt, and several generous grinds of black pepper.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss again. Serve immediately.
  4. Store any leftover in a covered container in the fridge where it will still be tasty the next day.
  5. Makes 4 to 5 servings.


01.13.2021 at2:22 PM #

Deborah Urban

Love your site, beautiful recipes. However, I wish you would include other nutrition information instead of just calories. Today, you have a lot of people watching their carbohydrate levels I watch that plus I watch the sodium content for health reasons others might be watching their protein levels. I’m sure there are other people out there who would appreciate that information as well. Just a thought. Thanks

01.13.2021 at2:22 PM #

Katie Morford

Hi Deborah,

Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate your thoughts and you aren’t the first to ask for more detailed nutrition information. Unfortunately, I am a one-woman show and to do nutrition analysis correctly takes time that I simply don’t have at this point. Hope you understand. Katie

Post Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating