Winter salads can be a sorry sight, with their pale tomatoes and limp lettuce. Yet we still crave vegetables right now—they're the refreshing yin to rich cold-weather dishes' yang. And since we've just about hit our kale-salad max, we were relieved to discover this hot-and-cool salad from Ina Garten, which manages to check all the boxes—delicious, in-season, healthy—and comes together with truly minimal effort.

This healthful dish has its share of sweetness (wintry sweetness, at that), thanks to maple syrup, cranberries and orange juice. But don't worry, Ina tempers all this sugary goodness with plenty of salty and savory. She roasts carrots that she's coated with olive oil, salt and pepper for 20 minutes, then drizzles them with maple syrup before they go back in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes. The result: gorgeous caramelization. The cranberries (she opts for the dried variety) plump up wonderfully when you simmer them in a bit of orange juice over the stove; plus, the juice helps offset the berries' tart taste.

We'd be thrilled to munch away on just these carrots and cranberries, but Ina's presentation is worth the extra step: She serves them with a heaping mound of baby arugula, which has a peppery, sharp bite and strikes the perfect counterbalance (she dresses the greens in a mixture of sherry wine vinegar, grated garlic, salt and olive oil). The finishing touches are pieces of tangy goat cheese and roasted, salted Marcona almonds, which are softer and sweeter than regular almonds.

Go ahead, winter, keep it coming—we'll curl up by the fire with a salad and be just fine.

Get the recipe: Ina Garten's Maple-Roasted Carrot Salad


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