Winter Harvest Salad to Celebrate the Season

Ann Arbor Chef Shares Easy Weeknight Family Meals

If there’s one complaint I hear regularly, without fail, it’s that people make the same salad repeatedly and grow so tired of them.  They see beautiful salads in their feeds and as they search pinterest for ideas…but, somehow, when it comes to grocery shopping, we fill our carts with the same old stuff.  You are not alone!

This recipe is meant to be a remedy to that while also embracing and celebrating the winter season that we’re in.

So many recipes are filled with types of squash this time of year, which is great, but I always feel like the less popular root vegetables get overlooked.  And what I love about this salad is that those very vegetables are served raw, which delivers a completely different texture and flavor profile – often one that children are more receptive to (wink, wink).

Winter Harvest Salad with Root Vegetables & Spiced Maple Vinaigrette

Serves 6



¼ c. apple cider vinegar

Large pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper

⅛ teaspoon each of clove, allspice, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom

3 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

⅓ cup olive oil


¼ c. pepitas

½ c. farro

1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1-2 carrots, depending on size

1 turnip

1 apple

6-8 radishes

1 pomegranate, seeded

4 oz. goat cheese

10 oz. fresh mixed greens of your choice

1-2 parsnips, depending on size


  1. Over medium low heat, add pepitas to a dry pan to toast them.  Keep moving them around until they become fragrant and lightly browned.  Remove from pan to cool.
  2. Return the same pan to the heat and add farro and about 2 cups of water (*see note below).  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Cover the farro and cook for about 10 minutes.  Then, while keeping the lid on, turn off the heat and let steam for an additional 5 minutes.  After that, drain the farro and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. While the farro is cooking, prepare the vinaigrette by whisking the vinegar with the salt, pepper and spices, making sure that the salt is well dissolved.  Then, whisk in the rest of the vinaigrette ingredients.  Set aside.
  4. To prepare the vegetables, peel the carrot, parsnip, turnip, and beet into long peeled strips and set aside.  Slice the apple into thin slices and then cut them across into matchsticks, and thinly slice the radishes.
  5. To assemble the salad, add all of the greens into a large bowl and add all of the vegetables, except the beets.  Toss them well, making sure to separate the strands, etc.
  6. Re-whisk the vinaigrette and dress the salad, making sure to reserve some of the vinaigrette.  Gently toss everything with your (clean) hands (tongs tend to crush everything).
  7. Next add the beets and gently toss those in.
  8. Transfer all of this mixture onto a large platter and top with farro, beans, pepitas, pomegranate and goat cheese.
  9. Drizzle the top with any remaining vinaigrette and ENJOY!


  • Farro doesn’t really require a set amount of liquid to cook.  Think of it like boiling pasta – cook it in the water until it is cooked to your liking and then drain it.
  • You can really use any combination of root vegetables you like – change it up weekly and enjoy the changing flavors
  • Want to add animal protein to the salad?  No problem!  You can easily add grilled chicken or your preferred protein to it.
  • Want to use another grain that you have in your pantry?  Quinoa?  Bulgur? Wild rice?  No problem!  You can also prepare them days in advance and have them ready to go or even use leftover grains from a previous dinner.
  • Skipping the dairy and/or don’t want to add cheese?  Or want to add a different cheese? Again, no problem!
  • Prefer to use different beans?  Or omit them?  Ok, to both!

Hello, I’m Natalie!  I’m a professionally-trained chef, culinary instructor and recipe developer living in Ann Arbor.  A career change, a trip through culinary school 20 years ago, and being a lifelong Julia Child enthusiast has led me to a career doing my very favorite thing:  making food and cooking approachable to home cooks of all ages!   

My passion for creating great food experiences and getting people excited about learning and having fun in the kitchen is always at the heart of what I do.  You can find me at  And on social media you can find me at @NatalieMarbleCooks.  Sign up for my bi-weekly email newsletter here, where I share family-friendly recipes, tips & tricks, new class information, and hopefully a little inspiration!