Let’s talk about salad for a minute, ok?
A few weeks ago, we went to one of my all-time favorite restaurants to celebrate my internship matching. The entire meal was fantastic, but what really stuck in my mind after this meal was the salad.
I had the Chop Chop. Minus the bacon, of course! When I got home, I started thinking about why I liked that salad so much…and I decided it was because the toppings were out of the ordinary for me. I tend to fall into a pattern with my salad toppings. I always add carrots, red peppers, red onion and tomato. In the summers, I tend to add more fruits- like strawberries and apples. If I’m feeling especially crazy, I add roasted sweet potatoes and some quinoa.
I can’t think of a single time I ever put asparagus on my salad, I don’t think i’ve ever added corn…and even though I love hard boiled eggs…I rarely put them on my salad.
I couldn’t get this salad out of my head…so of course I recreated it at home a few days later. I made a few substitutions- I used spinach, instead of mixed greens, goat cheese instead of gorgonzola and drizzled it with sesame ginger dressing. And I topped it off with a piece of salmon to make a complete meal.
Since I enjoyed this salad so much, I started thinking about how other people might fall into a salad rut similar to mine.
SO, I made you guys a list of salad toppings…some traditional…and some you might not have thought of! Maybe it will inspire you to spice up your salad!
Spice It Up with Salad Toppings
Asparagus, Beets, Artichoke hearts, Cucumbers, Peppers, Carrots, Broccoli,
Peas, Red onion, Celery, Mushrooms, Sweet potato, Radishes, Olives, Corn
-Try your vegetables roasted, grilled, marinated, raw or pickled for variety-
Hard-boiled, Poached, Soft-boiled
Couscous, Farro, Quinoa, Barley, Rice
Pepitas, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds
Cranberries, Cherries, Raisins, Mango, Blueberries
Kidney beans, Black beans, Garbanzo beans,
Great northern beans, Edamame, Tofu
Tuna, Salmon, Crab Cakes, Shrimp, Scallops
Chicken, Turkey, Steak, Ham, Bacon
-A great way to use up leftovers!-
Pears, Grapes, Mandarin oranges, Apples, Avocado,
Strawberries, Tomatoes, Pomegranate Arils
-Thinly sliced, segmented, or in dressings-
Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts, Pine nuts
-Try them toasted, raw or candied-
Goat cheese, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Gorgonzola
-Crumbled, grated, sliced-
Basil, Mint, Chives, Dill, Parsley
Salsa, hummus, smashed avocado, pureed fruit
Croutons, Crispy noodles, Water chesnuts
So what do you think? See anything on here you want to try? This is by no means an exhaustive list, because really- you can put pretty much anything on a salad…it’s just meant to spark your creativity!
What are your favorite salad toppings?? Inspire me, my friends!