Now, don't worry. I have gone all "health nut" on you. I just really love a salad and sometimes salad can get a bad rap. You have to really put what you love into a salad and that's why I love cooking at home. I know that most restaurants are really good about special orders. I enjoy a restaurant too, but when you make a salad at home you can put exactly what you want into it to make a great garden salad.
Start with a really great green, a nice bed of lettuce. I love Romaine because you get a nice balance of a leafy green with light and crispy all in one head. For me, a chopped salad should be a "no brainer." I think every salad should be chopped so that you can get also the perfect bite. So let's start with the nice -chopped up- Romaine. For veggies - you've got to go with a tomato of any kind. Roma, cherry even beefsteak. They are not as intensely flavored, but they're still a great tomato. I like to seed them. Next, you need a cucumber. It makes garden salad so fresh. It really brightens up your salad. I love radishes they have a nice peppery bite. Avocado is so nice and creamy. Cheese. Two of my favorite cheeses for salad are Feta and Cheddar. You could do both. You could do one. I just think they have the perfect texture and flavor for a garden salad. So now, protein. Add some chicken (cooked any way) and bacon. To dress the salad you want to go light. Don't soup up your salad. You won't be able to finish it. Any dressing you like. I love Red Wine Vinaigrette. Its bite is a perfect balance for that creamy avocado.
You could do it as a side or a starter, but a nice hearty salad can be a meal that you feel good about. Send, Instagram or tweet me a picture of your salad!