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Warm salad ideas

Category: entertainment

Whatever the weather, a warm salad can be put together with ease. Keep the ingredients simple or even use leftovers from your Sunday roast to create a healthy meal.

We partnered with Stockland favourite Bridget Davis, The Internet Chef to bring you these ten warming winter salads. These dishes are delicious, healthy and served warm so you can get your five-plus a day. 

Pumpkin, sweet potato, cranberry and goji berry salad with sunflower and pumpkin seeds
This is a great warm salad filled with orange and red goodness! Roast the sliced pumpkin and sweet potato in a hot oven set at 190C for 40-45 minutes until golden and soft. Place into a large bowl with a handful of dried cranberries and goji berries. Add a large handful of spinach leaves and sprinkle with sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil and season with salt and pepper before serving. 

Whole baby roasted carrots with pine nuts, sultanas and yogurt dressing
The sweetness of baby carrots lends itself well to this warm salad. Trim the tops off a large bunch of baby or Dutch carrots and scrub gently under cold running water to remove any residual dirt. 

Drizzle the carrots with avocado oil (or olive oil) and roast in an oven set at 180C for 30-35 minutes. Whilst the carrots are roasting make the yogurt dressing by mixing together ¼ cup of natural plain yogurt with the juice of ½ lemon, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. 

When the carrots are ready, lay on to a platter and sprinkle over the top a small handful of pine nuts and sultanas. Drizzle over the yogurt dressing and a handful of freshly picked mint leaves. Season well with salt and pepper and serve. 

Warm chicken salad with quinoa and a chilli and lime dressing 
This salad is packed full of protein thanks to the chicken and quinoa and is a wonderful winter warmer for an office lunch or mid week dinner. Using 2 free-range chicken thighs or 1 chicken breast, either roast in the oven or steam until cooked through. While the chicken is cooking, cook the quinoa by boiling a cup of quinoa in 2 litres of water for 20 minutes until the quinoa is tender. Drain the water from the quinoa and keep it warm in the pot covered with a lid. 

Make a dressing by blending together the juice of 1 lime with 1 finely chopped red chilli, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar and 1 teaspoon of caster sugar. 

Shred the chicken through the quinoa and add some halved cherry tomatoes, a handful of defrosted sweet corn along with some chopped mint and coriander leaves. Season well with salt and pepper and drizzle with some of the dressing before serving. 

Tasty lettuce wraps
I like to use leftover chilli mince to make these tasty lettuce wraps. You could use any type of leftover meat like shredded roast chicken or warm sliced beef, but I find that the chilli mince is like having a lettuce taco! 

Heat up the mince or meat that you intend to warp and place a spoonful into a naturally occurring iceberg cup. I like to top the mince with sour cream, a sprinkling of cheese and some coriander leaves before devouring!

Lentil, beetroot and goats cheese salad
This is one of my all-time favourite salads, and served warm with a couple of slices of sourdough toast it makes for an absolutely decent and terribly tasty lunch or dinner. Firstly cook the lentils by boiling 1 cup of lentils in 2 litres of water for 20 minutes until the lentils are tender. Drain the water from the lentils and keep them warm in the pot covered with a lid. 

Make a ginger dressing for the salad by processing together 1 knob of ginger with 3 cloves of garlic. Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon of caster sugar and process until well combined. 

Open a can of baby beetroot and slice the beetroot into quarters. Mix the beetroot through the warm lentils and add a 4-5 slices of goats cheese. Sprinkle over a handful of finely chopped parsley and mint. Pour over the dressing and mix through the salad. Season with salt and pepper and serve. 

Chargrilled zucchini and mushrooms with tomatoes, basil and basil vinaigrette
I like to break out the grill pan and chargrill my vegetables to give them a delightful and interesting flavour. If you don’t have a grill pan you can use a toasted sandwich machine or if possible get outside for a few minutes and throw them on the barbeque. 

Cut the zucchini and mushrooms into thick slices and drizzle with avocado oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables for 1-2 minutes on each side and set aside and keep warm. Make the dressing by blending together a handful of basil leaves with the juice of 1 lemon and ¼ cup of olive oil. 

Slice 2 Roma tomatoes into 8 slices each and mix through the mushrooms and zucchini. Add a handful of rocket leaves and a small handful of basil leaves and drizzle with the basil vinaigrette. Season well with salt and pepper and serve. 

Warm tuna nicoise salad with a baked egg
This is a great dish that can be made simply in the oven in a dish that it can then be served in. It’s a wonderfully easy and delicious mid week dinner idea. Into a roasting tray add ½ cup of cherry tomatoes sliced in half, ½ cup of pitted olives, and ½ red capsicum sliced into strips. Break 2 eggs into ramekins and lay them into the roasting tray with slice of tuna on top of the vegetables. Drizzle the dish with avocado oil (or olive oil) and season with salt and pepper.

Place the dish in the oven and bake at 200C for 15 minutes. Whilst the tuna bakes, blanch a handful of green beans in boiling water for 1 minute, remove from the pot and refresh in cold water and set the beans aside. Make a lemon vinaigrette by whisking together the juice of 1 lemon with ¼ cup of olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. 

Remove the pan from the oven and toss over the beans and dressing with the vinaigrette. Serve immediately. 

Broccolini, carrot and pesto salad
This simple salad is made up of only a couple of ingredients and can be made more abundant with a handful of spinach and rocket leaves. Prepare the carrots by peeling and slicing into large batons. Place the carrots in a roasting tray and sprinkle with avocado oil (or olive oil) and season with salt and pepper. Pop into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes on 190C. 

Slice the bottoms off the broccolini and slice into 3-4 even pieces.  When the carrots are almost ready, blanch the broccolini in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pot and set aside. 
Remove the carrots from the oven and mix with the carrots and place on a serving plate. Dribble with a good quality pesto and sprinkle with chopped almonds. Top with a crown of spinach and rocket leaves and season well with salt and pepper before serving. 

Steak and onion ring salad with egg and spinach
I like to think of this as a mixed grilled plate but in salad form. It’s hearty and flavoursome and a great cold night warming salad.  Taking a 150 gram piece of porterhouse or sirloin steak, season each side with salt and pepper and lay into a roasting tray on top of rounds of sliced onions. Break 2 eggs into ramekins and place them into the roasting tray. 

Bake the roasting tray in the oven set at 190C for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and slice the steak into strips and place the steak, onions and eggs on a platter and top with a handful of spinach leaves. Drizzle over some good quality store bought aioli and serve with grinding of salt and pepper and serve. 

Couscous and chargrilled vegetables 
This is a delightful vegetarian warm salad that is one of my favourite dishes to take to the office. I use a selection of chargrilled vegetables like eggplant, carrot, mushrooms and capsicum that can be bought from the deli section of your supermarket. Slice 2 cups of vegetables into bite sized portions and heat gently in a large frying pan. 

Prepare 1 cup of the couscous as per packet instructions and fluff with a fork.  Mix the warm vegetables through the couscous and add a good knob of butter. Add ¼ cup of chopped nuts like almonds and pistachios and season well with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

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