General Question

naomi29's avatar

Salad ideas?

Asked by naomi29 (432 points ) January 28th, 2011

I’m making the green salad for my mom’s birthday dinner. I want to do something sort-of different. I might like to make my own dressing and/or add some interesting things to it.
At home I typically have some combo of:
spinach, cheese, croutons, grilled chicken, tomatoes, green onion, cucumber, shredded carrots, broccoli and beans (usually black beans).
Does anyone else have any ideas of what to add? Maybe a really good salad dressing (vinaigrette, please. Creamy dressings gross me out).
Thank you!

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22 Answers

Odysseus's avatar

Herbs are missing. Fresh tarragon, basil or even Oregano will add that little bit special.

Don’t over do it though (its not the more the merrier here), fresh organic Quality vegetables will make a salad special.

Austinlad's avatar

I love simple salads. My favorite one—I have it three or four times a week with supper—is mixed greens, crumbled feta, Mandarin orange slices, topped with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Yum… if it wasn’t just 6:30 a.m., I’d go make one now.

answerjill's avatar

I’d like to recommend a good salad cookbook called “Raising the Salad Bar.” It contains lots of good ideas.

Odysseus's avatar

@Austinlad , “olive oil and balsamic vinegar” a necessity. :)

SmashTheState's avatar

I like dandelion greens. If you live in a climate where you can’t pick any yourself right now, most supermarkets sell them now as “field greens.” Flowers are also an interesting choice, and they add a touch of perfume to the salad too. Different types of rose petals, and whole daisies and clover taste wonderful in salads. (Be careful with roses, though; not all varieties are edible, and NEVER put ANYTHING you get from a florist in your mouth, since the flowers are usually loaded with massive and toxic levels of chemicals.)

BarnacleBill's avatar

I make a really great broccoli salad gets great feedback. I have it down to “fast” using packaged items, but you can do it the hard way:
2 bags broccoli florets, cut to bite size pieces
1 chopped onion
2 packages real bacon bits
1 large bag craisins

Dressing: 1 cup low fat mayonnaise, ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup cider vinegar. Combine. Make ahead and let sit in refrigerator for a few hours to blend.

Someone at work brings a salad to potlucks that I really like. It’s spinach, sugared walnuts, strawberries – Similar to this

Odysseus's avatar

@STS, dandelion ? my Mum used to tell me that they would make me wet the bed. Gotta be some truth in that ole wisdom.

Cruiser's avatar

I am drooling on @Austinlad‘s salad as the one I was going to suggest is very similar.

I like to put together a spinach and romaine combo with thin sliced red onion and cherry tomatoes with mandarin orange slices and just a sprinkle of shredded carrots and cheese of your choice.

For the dressing take the juice from the can of the mandarin oranges combine with an olive oil balsamic vinegar with a little salt and lemon pepper and one clove of crushed garlic.

janbb's avatar

I like to put crumbed goat’s cheese and chopped walnuts in a simple mixed green salad with chucmber, tomatoes and onions.

marinelife's avatar

I might add or change up the lettuces I was using. I like the peppery bite of arugula.

Sometimes I add sliced black olives and shrimp to a green salad.

You might try shallots rather than green onion.

I like champagne vinegar in vinaigrette.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

My favorite salad is lettuce with craisins, pomegranates, walnuts, and raspberry pomegranate vinaigrette.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Odysseus dandelion is a mild diuretic.
I think what you have listed as ingredients that you usually have hanging around would make a fine salad. I would personally leave out the green onions, they don’t seem to go.. but that may be just me.

mrlaconic's avatar

Spinach, Sliced Strawberry, Chicken, Cucumber

Make a dressing of Olive oil and Balsamic vinegar.

skfinkel's avatar

Add some fruit: cranberries, apples cut up into small pieces, mandarin orange. Any one of these would add a surprise and fun taste to the salad.

WestRiverrat's avatar

This is a family favorite.

naomi29's avatar

Wow- thanks for your ideas! They all sounds so good…now I’m hungry.
I think I am going to end up bringing two. I am going to try one with fruit (maybe a raspberry dressing?) and the wilted spinach salad.
Thanks again!

deni's avatar

I make salads for a living…my new favorite one is this—mixed greens, mango, avocado, chicken, and a sort of black bean salsa (but just black beans would do)....and a Chipotle Lime vinaigrette. That could also be substituted for anything though….

Another one everyone seems to love is mixed greens, apple, goat cheese, walnuts, and potatoes (the really really tiny ones cooked in the oven with jus some salt pepper and rosemary..mmmm). That one has a honey herb vinaigrette.

We do a salad with figs and raspberry vinaigrette that everyone seems to love. It seems like the most popular single item there is is goat cheese though…I, personally, like strawberries in my salad more than anything else. Sunflower seeds are always a nice crunch too….just some ideas!

gailcalled's avatar

Diced, cooked beets, walnuts and watercress

Sliced pear, pecans and greens

Cooked, diced new potatoes with skins, fresh raspberries and capers. Use raspberry vinegar for the dressing.

aprilsimnel's avatar

My friend makes a delicious salad of beetroot, blue cheese and roasted almonds every so often and we’ve scarfed that right up. Here’s a fancier version with spinach and some other ingredients.

Kardamom's avatar

This is my new favorite go to recipe: Raw Kale Salad with Root Vegetables You actually wilt the kale by putting a bit of apple cider vinegar and a pinch of sea salt on it and massage it into the leaves and let it sit for about 20 minutes, then you grate any combo of your favorite root vegetables into it (my favorites so far have been rutabaga and beets) then it has a vinaigrette made from soy sauce and lemon juice poured over and mixed into the whole thing.

I also love a good Greek salad: chopped romaine lettuce, garbanzo beans, sliced pickled banana peppers, grape tomatoes, pitted kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese. And home made dressing like this

Here’s a really yummy sounding Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette that would be good poured over a salad of romaine, tiny fresh mozzarella balls, a bit of fresh basil leaves, and some toasted pine nuts.

Earthgirl's avatar

Wow, there are some really good recipes here! I am definitely going to try some of them.
This is my new favorite. It’s from Napa Valley Grill:

arugula, baby spinach (the original was all arugula, but I find that a little overpowering tastewise so I mix in another lettuce) dried cranberries, toasted walnuts (definitely worth the time to toast them, it gives a better flavor) thin slices of Granny Smith apple, crumbled goat cheese.
For dressing:Cabernet Vinaigrette (about 2 tbsp Cabernet Sauvignon to each ½ cup olive oil, 2 tbsp rice vinegar or white vinegar and a little salt and pepper to taste)

One Caveat-Don’t do what I did and use a $50 bottle of Cabernet that your SO was saving for a special occasion! oh well, now it’s his favorite story to tell of stupid things my charming wife has done

JoSpert's avatar

I love to add t my salad oranges! Salad with oranges

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