A good salad starts with a base of mixed greens. I love the pre-mixed bags at the grocery store for their variety and convenience. During the summer, I duplicate the same mixes with fresh greens at the farmers market.
For every salad I made, I usually pick three or four of the add-ins from this list. Fewer and the salad doesn't quite satisfy me for lunch. More and I find that the flavors get muddled.
1. Apples, Pears, and Grapes - Essentially, any fruit that's juicy and crunchy.
2. Leftover Pasta - Any pasta will do. I love the chewiness!
3. Chickpeas - Tender and nutty, I find that chickpeas also make salads more filling.
4. Nuts - Walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, or pecans - whatever I grab from the pantry!
5. Avocado - Avocado's mild sweetness is terrific with bitter greens.
6. Dried Fruit - Apricots and cranberries are my favorite.
7. Hardboiled Eggs - A little protein goes a long way to making salads more satisfying.
8. Toast - Rather than making croutons, I usually toast a piece of bread and tear it into chunks.
9. Cheese - I usually go for a fairly firm cheese like cubes of smoked gouda or curls of parmesan, but I also like tangy goat cheese and sharp feta.
10. Leftovers - My favorite add-in! A bit of last night's poached chicken or roasted cauliflower side dish are an excellent way to add interest to salads and use up small containers of leftovers.
What are your favorite add-ins to salads?