What to CookSalad

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.

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.

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

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Lunch, Back to School, Winter, Not Sad Desk Lunch