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: How to build a bright, colorful winter salad — without any lettuce.
Part of the monotony of regularly eating salad for lunch comes from that Groundhog’s Day effect of facing a pile of leaves, day after day, and dutifully working your way through them. Given the choice between another leafy salad and, say, a bag of chips from the vending machine plus three half-donuts from the break room, it’s hard to resist the latter, if only out of rebellion.
But let’s say you rebelled against your leafy green salad with a different salad, one that wasn’t leafy and green? One that was colorful and crunchy and sweet and tangy and polka dotted with bits of salty cheese? This salad might stand a chance. It might make you happy like a small child who has just received a very bright and shiny toy.
This here salad was a breath of fresh air from all the kale knocking down our doors: breakfast radishes (pink!), roasted beets (sweet!), shaved celery (crunchy!), and basil (remember what summer tastes like?). There are bits of Parmesan (everyone loves cheese!) plus olive oil and lemon juice and salt. Round it out with an egg, or your leftover roast chicken, or some bread and hummus. If your coworker brought you some citrus from California, all the better.
See? Bright and shiny. And new.
This article originally appeared on Food52.com: A Bright, Colorful, Lettuce-less Winter Salad