The Best Salad Ingredients

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List Criteria: Any edible addition you can throw in a salad

The very best salad ingredients, be them veggies, cheese, meats or other items, are the essential components that when combined transform the individual items into a real salad. Alone, these items are all delicious, but when you add them together and toss them with a delicious salad dressing, a yummy salad is created.

In fact it's the salad ingredients or toppings that distinguish one salad from another. Take the Caesar salad for instance and it's traditional toppings of Parmesan cheese, romaine lettuce, croutons and a garlicky dressing. Greek salads are the same with the likes of feta cheese, tomatoes, onions, pickled beets, peperoncini peppers, cucumbers and an olive oil-oregano dressing making these individual items combine to create something better than the sum of the original parts.

Whether you're a fan of traditional salads like the Waldorf or the classic cobb or just a simple garden salad with lettuce, tomato and dressing, it's safe to assume we can all agree that the ingredients make the salad. We've all seen the salad bars stocked with a wide variety of vegetables, cheeses, meats, nuts and dressings, and just as there are endless options for salad toppings, there are endless combinations for which to create out own definition of a perfect salad.

Perhaps that flexibility and the fact that there is no wrong way to make a salad, is what makes salad a wonder food. As an added bonus, for the most part, unless you pick fatty dressings and high-calorie toppings, salads are also healthy. That's a double bonus if we ever saw one.
Collection Photo:  USDA - Dan Bruell
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    Cucumber is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Salad Ingredients


    Cucumber

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    Mushroom is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Salad Ingredients


    Mushroom

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    Cherry Tomatoes is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Salad Ingredients

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    Cherry Tomatoes

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    Nuts is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Salad Ingredients


    Nuts

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    Sunflower seed is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Salad Ingredients


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    Diced Ham is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Salad Ingredients


    Diced Ham

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    Dried Cranberries is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Salad Ingredients


    Dried Cranberries

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    Green olive is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Salad Ingredients

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    Green olive

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    Purple cabbage is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Salad Ingredients


    Purple cabbage

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    Balsamic Vinegrette is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Salad Ingredients

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    Balsamic Vinegrette

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    Chickpeas is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Salad Ingredients


    Chickpeas

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    Diced Turkey is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Salad Ingredients


    Diced Turkey

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    Baby Carrots is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Salad Ingredients

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    Baby Carrots

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    Heirloom Tomato is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Salad Ingredients


    Heirloom Tomato

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    Butter Lettuce is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Salad Ingredients

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    Butter Lettuce

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    Mandarin Oranges is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Salad Ingredients


    Mandarin Oranges

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