My ideal of traditional salad from grocery store ingredients

 
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My ideal of traditional salad from grocery store ingredients

Raifu
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This post was updated on .
In my view, traditional salad, made from current grocery store ingredients, should be something like this:

* Lettuce-based (not spinach or fruit-based)
* Contain 0 to 1 sweet fruits, and if they are included, they should be dried, and not be so abundant as to make the salad particularly sweet

It should optionally contain any to a number of the following:
* Radishes (they're definitely under-used)
* Black olives
* Green onions
* Onions (red ones are nice)
* Carrots (sparingly)
* Cabbage (sparingly)
* Tomatoes
* Peppers
* Celery
* Cucumbers (sparingly)
* Nuts and/or seeds (don't overpower the salad with nuts, though)
* Cheese (ideally grated; cheddar and mozarella are great)
* Shredded parmesian cheese is fine
* Artificial bacon bits (not the real thing)
* Immitation crab
* Hidden Valley ranch dressing (make sure to pre-test all your ranch in advance; it's not all the same)
* Caesar dressing (but only if it tastes like the kind at Wendy's from 1998 or so, and I don't know a brand that does; I'm not sure if Wendy's Caesar dressing still tastes the same)
* Croutons (ideally small, savory ones)
* Dried cranberries (not all the time)
* Dried raisins (not all the time)
* White mushrooms
* Freshly cooked, good-tasting chicken (not cold, nor processed); as with the other ingredients this is entirely optional
* Very thin sliced ham or turkey ham might be okay
* Strawberries or brown sugar as part of a vinegar dressing (don't do this every time)
* Savory dressings you invent yourself (ideally, not vinegar, nor oil dressings)

Things to avoid in this style of salad:
* Mandarin oranges
* Avocados
* Vinegar (except on odd occasions)
* Apples
* Pears
* Plums
* Peaches
* Pickled peppers (the vinegar taste combined with the texture overpowers)
* Real bacon bits (I know you probably like them, but no)
* Spinach
* Cold, processed chicken cubes
* Adding too many thick vegetables in the same salad (e.g. cucumbers, carrots, celery, and peppers); they can overpower the lettuce and become the base
* Other fruits (although, if they're not thick or wet, there's more of a chance they might work)
* Multiple sweet fruits in the same salad. I mean, if you're already using cranberries or raisins, don't add the strawberry-vinegar dressing. the salad as a whole is supposed to be at least mostly savory.
* Multiple kinds of meat on the same salad

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Location: SW Idaho, USA
Climate: BSk
USDA hardiness zone: 6
Elevation: 2,260 feet
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