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 (often rich in proteins and nutrients). That's a double bonus if we ever saw one.