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Warm Salads to Carry You Through Winter

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As a defiant response to Sad Desk Lunches, the Food52 team works to keep our midday meals both interesting and pretty. Each week, we'll be sharing our happiest desk lunches -- and we want to see yours, too.

Today: Bulk up your winter salads with warm ingredients to satisfy you on the coldest of days.

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As the temperature continues to drop, we find ourselves less and less satisfied with our standard lunch salad. We keep cool through summer by crunching on a big bowl of vegetables, but come winter, we’d rather spend our lunch hour warming ourselves from the inside out -- digging into a bowl of piping hot soup or pulling apart a gooey grilled cheese.

What these blustery days call for is a salad that suits the season, bulked up with warm components to make it a bit heartier and a whole lot more satisfying. Warm salads are decidedly retro, and that’s fine by us -- they fulfill our need to feel toasty inside during the shivering days ahead.

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Here’s are a few of our favorite ways to warm up otherwise cold and crunchy salads:

  • Heat your favorite vinaigrette in the microwave and toss it with hearty greens like spinach, kale, radicchio, or escarole for a warm, wilted salad. Add a handful of crumbled cheese, toasted nuts, or a sliced hard boiled egg to make it a more substantial meal.
  • Leftover roasted vegetables, cooked beans, lentils, or grains, warmed up in the microwave, are a quick way to winterize any salad.
  • Garnish your salad with baked goat cheese: Cut 1/3-inch rounds of soft goat cheese and roll them in nuts or breadcrumbs. Pack the cheese along with your salad, then bake or broil it in a toaster oven until golden brown and warmed through.

More: Looking for more warming lunches? Try savory oatmeal.

How do you winterize your salads? Tell us in the comments!

Photos by James Ransom

Tags: not sad desk lunch, lunch, salad, winter, warm salad