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73 Additions and Things That Taste Great in Salads

John D Lee is a chef and restauranteur living and working in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He's always loved to cook.

Break out of your salad rut and expand your horizons beyond the usual salad bowl suspects.

Break out of your salad rut and expand your horizons beyond the usual salad bowl suspects.

Level-up Your Salad!

Salads are too often the afterthought to an otherwise well-thought-out meal. We put all our effort into that great cut of meat and the side dishes, and by the time we get to the salad, all we do is toss together a little lettuce and tomato and serve with bottled salad dressing on the side.

It’s OK, I guess, but it's hardly something to get excited about.

Break out of your salad rut and expand your horizons beyond the usual salad bowl suspects. Here are 73 items to toss into your next salad that’ll be sure to perk up the taste buds of everyone at your supper table.

73 Salad Additions

  1. Dried cranberries
  2. Raisins
  3. Sultanas
  4. Chopped dates
  5. Sun-dried tomatoes
  6. Pecans
  7. Walnuts
  8. Cashews
  9. Pine nuts
  10. Almonds
  11. Macadamia nuts
  12. Pistachios (shelled)
  13. Sunflower seeds
  14. Pumpkin seeds
  15. Candied nuts
  16. Sesame seeds
  17. Poppy seeds
  18. Flax seeds
  19. Sliced jicama
  20. Fried wontons skins
  21. Bean sprouts
  22. Fresh pear slices
  23. Roasted pear slices (see how to roast pears for instructions on getting the most out of unripe hard pears in a salad!)
  24. Blueberries
  25. Raspberries
  26. Apple slices
  27. Orange segments
  28. Grapefruit segments
  29. Pomelo segments
  30. Mango chunks
  31. Papaya chunks
  32. Grapes
  33. Peaches
  34. Watermelon chunks
  35. Avocado
  36. Olives
  37. Capers
  38. Pickled peppers, like jalapeños
  39. Tuna
  40. Chicken
  41. Leftover meat . . . whatever you’ve got going
  42. Bacon
  43. Fried pancetta
  44. Prosciutto
  45. Dry-cured salamis, mortadella or other charcuterie items
  46. Sautéed shrimp
  47. Tofu
  48. Croutons
  49. Fresh herbs, like basil, mint or cilantro
  50. Pasta
  51. Cooked beans
  52. Fresh fennel root, thinly sliced
  53. Leftover roasted vegetables
  54. Grilled vegetables (grilled asparagus is great in a salad)
  55. Feta cheese
  56. Blue cheese
  57. Old cheddar cheese
  58. Shaved parmesan, asiago, Grana Padano, Pecorino or other hard cheeses
  59. Goat cheese
  60. Swiss cheese (Emmental)
  61. Canned or cooked black beans, white beans, kidney beans, etc.
  62. Cooked brown rice
  63. Cooked orzo, quinoa, millet, wheat berries or other whole grains
  64. Water chestnuts
  65. Baby corn
  66. Boiled egg
  67. Poached egg
  68. Duck confit
  69. Boiled potatoes
  70. Artichoke hearts
  71. Roasted beets
  72. Roasted winter squash or sweet potatoes
  73. Bamboo shoots

So get inspired and get creative and add a little crunch, a little sweetness and a little interest to your next side-of-the-plate dinner salad.