10 on Tuesday: Things to Put in a Salad

Someday, these will be tomatoes. Not yet, though.
Someday, these will be tomatoes. Not yet, though.

Once upon a time, I was told that, when making dinner for his then-girlfriend, my brother included in the spread a bowl of lettuce. She asked what it was, he said,  “It’s a salad.” As the story goes, she replied, “No. It’s a bowl of lettuce. Salad has things in it.”

I don’t know if this actually happened, but it makes for a nice intro to this week’s 10 on Tuesday topic – things to put in a salad. For purposes of this post, I’m starting from Brian’s preferred bowl of plain lettuce (though not iceberg, something nice and leafy instead) and adding fixings from there. It’s safe to assume not all of these things would be on the same salad, and that the whole shebang would be topped off with an appropriate salad dressing.

1. Tomatoes – A standard, yes, but with good reason. My preference would be for fancy heirloom tomatoes, but anything from the farmer’s market (not the nasty supermarket ones) would do.

2. Avocado – I’m reasonably sure this has to do with my addiction to the guacamole greens salad at Sweetgreen.

3. Croutons – Preferably of the herb or cheese variety, the just-bread kind are boring.

4. Fruit – Apples, pears, and peaches are tasty in a salad, as are all manner of berries, especially strawberries and blueberries.

5. Cheese – Like with the fruit, there are a lot of delicious options: feta, gorgonzola, goat, Parmesan… The list goes on and on.

6. Nuts – Again, many varieties to choose from, though pecans and pine nuts are my favorites.

7. Spinach – It jazzes up whatever base greens are chosen, and is super-healthy, too.

8. Meat – Grilled chicken is a salad staple, and I never turn down bacon. I also like rare steak on some kinds of salad, usually ones also involving blue cheese.

9. Shrimp – Technically not a meat, so it gets its own spot. (And I’m eating it right now, in fact. I was so inspired by my mention of the guac greens earlier in the post that I went and got it for lunch. Seriously.)

10. Beans – Well, legumes, really. White beans, chick peas, soybeans… all good for adding protein if I’m going meatless, and are still delicious if I’m not.

Now it’s your turn… What did I miss? What do you think I am crazy for having included? Have at it in the comments!

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9 thoughts on “10 on Tuesday: Things to Put in a Salad

  1. Shannon May 31, 2011 / 4:57 pm

    Well, there was my “vomit salad” from Siena…I believe Tony called it that. It wasn’t that bad!!

    It consisted of lettuce, bacon bits, tomatoes (sometimes), thousand island dressing with some shredded cheese and chinese noodles on top. Not terribly healthy, but delicious to me!

    Nowadays I prefer the following, romaine lettuce, some kind of nut, crumbled bleu cheese, cranberries, mandarin oranges and topped with balsamic vinegrette. Brueggers actually turned me onto it, oddly enough.

    I had a most yummy variation on it at a local restaurnant that consisted of poached pears, candied walnuts, bleu cheese and balsamic vinegrette. So good!

    Now I want a salad….

  2. Marlene May 31, 2011 / 5:32 pm

    As a salad eater from way back, I didn’t think this would be so hard for me. I started trying to only pick things not already mentioned, but gave up on that idea pretty quickly.

    1) Olives – any black variety will do. I don’t like green olives in a salad (unless it’s tuna or chicken salad), but I do like them!

    2) Hard boiled eggs – Another good option for adding protein if you don’t feel like beans

    3) Sunflower kernels – yum is all I need to say.

    4) Cucumber – I can’t believe they haven’t been mentioned yet

    5) Snow peas – they are my favorite, but any kind of pea in a pod could work.

    6) Radishes – they add a nice zing, but aren’t too overwhelming.

    7) Cheese – see what Sarah siad about this and double it for me!

    8) Any kind of meat – chicken is a standard, but steak, hamburger, pork, tuna…it all works

    9) Nuts – I’m with Sarah on this one too, pecans and pine nuts are the best.

    10) Carrots, Celery, Broccoli, etc. – most raw vegetables go well in salad!

    As a side note, I would put all these things in the same salad, but that salad wouldn’t have much room left for lettuce.

  3. Fran May 31, 2011 / 5:51 pm

    All of the above, plus onions and herbs … a handful of torn basil, dill or cilantro. Everything Southwest, too … Taco in a bowl. Now I know what’s for dinner tonight 

  4. Joanne May 31, 2011 / 8:01 pm

    Jesse makes an AMAZING salad that is awesome for dinner. Mixed greens, hard boiled eggs, avocado, bacon, feta cheese, some sort of meat. Sophia gets olives and tomatoes in hers. Italian dressing. Its the only salad I actually want to eat.

    Wyatt won’t touch it. He’s all me.

  5. Common Loon May 31, 2011 / 11:55 pm

    Yum!!! Too many options – it all sounds so good!!!! I get giddy when all of the vegetable ingredients come from my garden. I agree with everything listed, and would also add dates whenevr I want something a little sweet to balance a vinaigrette.

  6. Mom June 1, 2011 / 6:45 am

    Sounds YUMMY to me!!!! This could be a summer party theme — bring an ingredient for a salad — the hostess provides the bowl & tongs (oh, and some wine & a bread). Bon Appetite 

  7. vallaura June 3, 2011 / 10:22 pm

    no..no..noo…. not my kind of salad x(

  8. ambermartingale June 4, 2011 / 12:04 pm

    For the fruit, I think you were crazy to have LEFT OUT raspberries and black berries. *wink*

    I thjink you were crazy to have included pine nuts…they taste like half rotten pine trees to me…though for some reason I can eat them in pesto.

  9. Laura June 5, 2011 / 6:50 pm

    Everything you mention sounds fabulous. My latest addition to salads is red pepper. Chop it real fine and not only does it add crunch and visual pop, but it tastes great. Not as obnoxious as its brother the green pepper can be.

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