Start with a Holiday Salad

Prep your palate for the main course with a fragrant and flavorful salad course loaded with seasonal fruits and vegetables.

  • Mesclun Greens with Dried Figs and Goat Cheese
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro

    Mesclun Greens with Dried Figs and Goat Cheese

    Plate a beautiful salad course of cheese-stuffed endive leaves, sliced Granny Smith apples, and mesclun greens, all dressed with a five-ingredient red wine-balsamic dressing. Sprinkle with dried cranberries for a pop of color and a hint of sweetness.
  • Roasted Root Vegetable Salad
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Buffy Hargett

    Roasted Root Vegetable Salad

    Colorful, earthy root vegetables look beautiful when piled atop peppery arugula in this substantial holiday salad.
  • Winter Citrus, Escarole, and Endive Salad
    Photo: José Picayo; Styling: Philippa Brathwaite

    Winter Citrus, Escarole, and Endive Salad

    This bright, fresh salad of winter greens and sweet-tangy citrus is studded with red pomegranate arils: It's a dramatic, holiday-worthy plate and a welcome course for vegetarians.
  • Spinach, Pear, and Pancetta Salad
    Leo Gong

    Spinach, Pear, and Pancetta Salad

    Crisp pancetta and juicy pears make this salad special enough to earn its spot at the holiday table.
  • Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprout Salad
    Photo: Johnny Miller; Styling: Sarah Smart

    Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprout Salad

    Instead of roasting Brussels sprouts, try a different approach by using their leaves in a salad. Tender Brussels sprout leaves, crisp radishes, and a sweet-and-sour vinaigrette are sure to keep guests coming back for more of this healthful salad.
  • Fizz Kale Salad with Roasted Garlic-Bacon Dressing and Beets
    Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl, Cindy Barr  

    Fizz Kale Salad with Roasted Garlic-Bacon Dressing and Beets

    Fizz kale boasts delicate cabbage flavor and hearty crunch in this stunning salad. Use a mixture of baby beets for extra color and top it all off with an incredible garlic-bacon dressing.
  • Make-Ahead Layered Salad
    Photo: Johnny Miller; Styling: Sarah Smart  

    Make-Ahead Layered Salad

    Prechopped veggies and precooked bacon and eggs help you pull this charmingly retro dish together in a flash.
  • Spinach Salad with Figs and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
    Photo: Ryan Benyi; Styling: Andrea Steinberg

    Spinach Salad with Figs and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

    Crumbled bacon, chickpeas, dried figs, and blue cheese give this salad bold flavor and a variety of textures. Tie it all together with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette.
  • Warm Walnut Spinach Salad
    Photo: Yunhee Kim; Styling: Kevin Crafts

    Warm Walnut Spinach Salad

    There are many kinds of spinach salads, but we dressed this one with honey, mustard, mirin, and walnut oil to create something unique.
  • Bitter Greens Salad with Spiced Mirin Dressing
    Photo: Rob Culpepper; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Bitter Greens Salad with Spiced Mirin Dressing

    It's common to add a touch of sweetness to salad dressings for bitter greens. Instead of sugar or honey, here we use the richness of mirin.
  • Crispy Goat Cheese-Topped Arugula Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
    Photo: Jim Franco; Styling: Lydia Degaris Pursell

    Crispy Goat Cheese-Topped Arugula Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

    Crispy goat cheese rounds, orange segments, pomegranate arils, and Pomegranate Vinaigrette shine in this seasonal salad.
  • Chickpea, Red Pepper, and Arugula Salad
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Chickpea, Red Pepper, and Arugula Salad

    Make an easy Mediterranean salad by combining canned chickpeas, jarred roasted red peppers, and olives and tossing with arugula and a tangy vinaigrette.
  • Citrus Salad with Spiced Honey
    Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller  

    Citrus Salad with Spiced Honey

    Use any combination of citrus on hand to compose this vibrant, fresh salad, and present it however you like. No matter how you serve it, sweet and sunny citrus complements any roast or fish.
  • Kale-and-Collards Salad
    Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham  

    Kale-and-Collards Salad

    When making this bracing salad, dress the kale and collards in advance to tenderize them. Pears, cranberries, avocado, pecans, and bacon are an unexpectedly delicious combination.
  • Fall Salad with Beets and Apples
    Photo: Helen Norman

    Fall Salad with Beets and Apples

    Perfectly balanced with different flavors, textures, and colors, this salad is a colorful addition to any fall spread.
  • Warm Frisee Salad with Crispy Kosher Salami
    Oxmoor House

    Warm Frisee Salad With Crispy Kosher Salami

    Add a little meat to the salad course by serving pan-fried kosher beef salami over crisp greens. A warm mustard vinaigrette adds bold flavor to the fresh dish.
  • Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
    Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck

    Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

    Jerk seasoning adds a hit of spice to Roasted Sweet Potato Salad. Mango and avocado add more island flavor in this unique dish.
  • Autumn Salad
    Photo: James Carrier

    Autumn Salad

    Packed with the best flavors of autumn, this salad is sure to be a winner on your holiday buffet. Hazelnuts, tangerines, dates, and butter lettuce get a flavorful treatment from fruit juice, olive oil, and a little salt and pepper. It's a great way to add bright color to the table.
  • Warm Lentil-and-Potato Salad
    Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck

    Warm Lentil-and-Potato Salad

    French green lentils add flavorful texture. They remain firm after cooking, while traditional brown lentils turn soft. Red potatoes, bacon, and fresh parsley add color and heft to this satisfying salad.
  • Ensalada de Noche Buena
    Douglas Merriam; Jan Gautro

    Ensalada de Noche Buena

    Spice up the holiday spread with a Tex-Mex-inspired salad featuring pomegranate seeds, pumpkinseed kernels, and fresh cilantro.
  • Apple, Almond, and Endive Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing
    Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl

    Apple, Almond, and Endive Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing

    We enjoyed this dish with widely available Fuji apples. Slightly bitter endive, toasted almonds, and Creamy Herb Dressing make this salad one to remember for holiday seasons to come.
  • Pineapple and Orange Salad with Toasted Coconut
    Photo: Johnny Miller; Styling: Heather Chontos

    Pineapple and Orange Salad with Toasted Coconut

    Serve this all-purpose side with holiday casseroles or roasts. Bright flavor, tantalizing colors, and nutty coconut will make this a holiday favorite.
  • Avocado-Citrus Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
    Photo: Fran Gealer

    Avocado-Citrus Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

    Serve delicate baby greens topped with grapefruit, navel oranges, and creamy avocados for a sweet and tart citrus salad. Chill the salad plates before plating the salad to keep the greens crisp after being tossed with the lemon and Champagne vinaigrette.
  • Fresh Pear-and-Green Bean Salad with Sorghum Vinaigrette
    Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck

    Fresh Pear-and-Green Bean Salad with Sorghum Vinaigrette

    Green beans are a classic side dish at the holiday table, but have you ever thought about putting them in a salad? Here, blanched green beans join juicy pears, sweet-and-spicy pecans, Gorgonzola cheese, and Sorghum Vinaigrette for one delightfully new salad.
  • Carrot-Cauliflower Salad
    Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

    Carrot-Cauliflower Salad

    We created this crunchy, sweet side as an update of the classic mayonnaise-laden carrot-and-raisin salad. Save time and make it ahead--it tastes even better the next day.
  • Butter Lettuce Salad with Parmesan Tuiles and Almonds
    Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Karen Shinto

    Butter Lettuce Salad with Parmesan Tuiles and Almonds

    Serve a simple salad with a creamy Parmesan dressing and dress it up with cheese tuiles, crisp cookie-like edible garnishes. Make the tuiles by melting little piles of Parmesan cheese in the oven for about five minutes. They make any dish look gourmet and take only minutes to prepare.
  • Harvest Salad with Cider Vinaigrette
    Photo: Ralph Anderson; Styling: Leslie Byars Simpson

    Harvest Salad with Cider Vinaigrette

    The night before your holiday meal, toss together this salad's fruity vinaigrette, made from red pears, apricots, figs, and raisins. Before sitting down to dinner, simply drizzle the dressing over fresh spinach and top with nuts and cheese for a quick and easy salad course.
  • Belgian Endive and Apple Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
    Photo: Jan Smith

    Belgian Endive and Apple Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

    Prepare the individual components of this salad up to two days in advance so you have more time during the holiday to visit with friends or family. Reduce preparation time even more by using bagged Italian blend greens.
  • Beet-and-Citrus Salad
    Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller  

    Beet-and-Citrus Salad

    Play with different citrus here, such as tangelos, blood oranges, or clementines. Chopped pistachios add nutty depth to this stunning salad.
  • Belgian Endive Salad with Stilton and Apples
    Photo: James Carrier

    Belgian Endive Salad with Stilton and Apples

    Roast and chop the shallots for this salad up to one day ahead to save time, then mix with other bold ingredients including red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard to make a sassy vinaigrette. Serve with crumbled cheese, endive, and green apple slices.
  • Radicchio Waldorf Salad with Cider Dressing
    Photo: Thomas J. Story

    Radicchio Waldorf Salad with Cider Dressing

    Crisp bites of bitter radicchio make an excellent match for dressing sweetened with a drizzle of reduced cider.
  • Roasted Mushroom Salad with Hazelnuts
    Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Randy Mon

    Roasted Mushroom Salad with Hazelnuts

    Roasting mushrooms deepens their flavor and makes them almost baconlike. Any mushroom is good in this salad, but cluster types like maitake (aka hen of the woods) and oyster have frilly edges that crisp up nicely.
  • Watercress Endive Salad with Blood Oranges and Pomegranates
    Lisa Romerein; Valerie Aikman-Smith

    Watercress Endive Salad with Blood Oranges and Pomegranates

    Plate a delicate display of watercress, endive, and peeled and seeded blood oranges. Drizzle with a Champagne vinaigrette and top with pomegranate seeds and slivered almonds. It's sure to wow your dinner guests in both presentation and taste.
  • Christmas Ribbon Salad

    Christmas Ribbon Salad

    If your day-of cooking schedule is packed, choose a make-ahead salad that works in the fridge while you go about your holiday preparations. This dish can be made in either a regular Bundt cake pan or a decorative mold. The eye-catching dual layers transform this salad from a simple side to an edible table centerpiece.
  • Pear Salad with Raspberry Cream

    Pear Salad with Raspberry Cream

    This five-star salad is the perfect accompaniment to any holiday entrée. Top a blend of Bibb and romaine lettuces with pear quarters, crumbled bacon, fresh raspberries, and a dressing made from sour cream, raspberry preserves, red wine vinegar, and Dijon mustard.
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