When we have company I almost always serve a salad and we eat plenty ourselves at other times, Everyone raves and calls them gourmet. My husband and a friend call me the salad queen. One is never the same over the other but here are some of the toppings that I like to use--beside lettuce. The more colorful the salad the better.
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  1. Canned Palmitos sliced (Hearts of Palm)
  2. Chochos
  3. Cooked beans
  4. Raisens
  5. Dried Cranberries
  6. Dates
  7. Pumpkin seeds raw or roasted (see my recipe under snacks)
  8. Olive Tapenade
  9. Olives
  10. Avocado
  11. Purple onions slices
  12. Dried green onions
  13. Dried onion flakes
  14. Red & yellow peppers
  15. Purple cabbage, fresh or fermented
  16. Carrots, fresh or fermented
  17. Tomato
  18. Dried tomato
  19. Cooked bacon
  20. Pepperoni
  21. Parmesan Cheese or other cheeses cubed or shredded
  22. Walnuts
  23. Pecans
  24. Cashews
  25. Any nut, really
  26. Sesame seeds
  27. Sunflower seeds, roasted or raw
  28. Basil leaves
  29. Fresh spinach
  30. Cucumber
  31. Mushrooms
  32. Steamed broccoli
  33. Hard boiled eggs
  34. Grilled chicken or ham, for a main meal salad
  35. Croutons
  36. Different kinds of lettuce
  37. Apples
  38. Triscuits
  39. Cheese crackers
  40. Tuna
  41. Salmon
  42. Chic peas
  43. Cooked corn
  44. Cooked peas
  45. Artichoke hearts
  1. Of course I don't put the entire list into one salad as these are suggestions. Remember the more colorful the better and they should have soft and crunchy textures together. Throw different things in and just make it hearty whether it's a side salad or the main meal. Make it inviting. I'm sure that I'm missing some items here, but each time I make a salad I always search around my kitchen to see what else I can add to make it balanced and interesting, because the list can go on and on. Make it nutritional, fun and delicious, rather than boring and you'll find that all you will need is balsamic vinegar rather then a fattening dressing.