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Great toppers: Even well-dressed salads need a little bling

06/19/2013 12:00 AM

06/17/2013 3:56 PM

Turn an “oh” at salad into “Oh, wow” with a little imagination and not much effort

Even the best-dressed leaves can benefit from a sprinkling of nuts or seeds. Just add them right before serving so they stay nice and crunchy.

Greens served naked or barely dressed in a splash of citrus and olive oil will gain greater appeal with a shake of dried fruit or a generous serving of fresh fruit.

Meat is a great salad topper, but don’t overlook beans, wheat germ, granola and canned tuna.

Then there’s diced or shaved cheese and green or black olives, marinated or stuffed.

Dry ramen noodles sauteed in butter and sprinkled with the accompanying spice package are a nice change of pace from croutons.

Snipped herbs — chives, mint, parsley, dill come to mind — add bold notes. Leftover rice or lentils, meanwhile, can be added with abandon.

Need more ideas? Pile on fresh or grilled vegetables; onions are especially delicious. If going with fresh vegetables, shredding, chopping, slicing and shaving will all add to the texture of the finished salad.

And don’t overlook sprouts and shoots.

Finally, remember that it’s no crime to double up on salad. Top greens with a creamy macaroni or potato salad and forgo the dressing.

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