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Deal-Breakers in Salads

Generally speaking, salads are wildly permutating collections of ingredients we all know and love, but sometimes hate. So what ingredients cause your heart to sink and tastebuds quail when you see them in a salad? These ingredients are capable of ruining an otherwise excellent salad.

For me, the three horsemen of the apocalypse are hot peppers, raw mushrooms and raw spinach. Although I'm a confirmed chilehead, I find that hot peppers overwhelm and undermine salads. They just don't belong. With shrooms, it's just a texture thing. And I don't mind spinach if it's combined with other greens, but as the exclusive base of a salad, its slightly soft and mushy texture is a real turnoff.

So what's on your hate parade?

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  1. I second these and although it's not really fair because in general I don't really like lettuce salads...
    chicken or any kind of meat (fish is ok, great even)
    raw broccoli or cauliflower
    any kind of store bought dressing
    grape tomatoes whole
    cucumber with the peel on it, even a little
    crunchy chow mein noodles

    give me a nice vegetable salad with herbs, tomato, cucumber and perhaps some feta- then I'm in heaven.

    2 Replies
    1. re: fara

      What a shame about the chow mein noodles - I love those! Things I despise in my salads are onion (although I'm good w/ green onion), green peppers, blue, goat or feta cheese, over dressed / drenched salads.

      1. re: JerryMe

        I also love the chow mein noodles. Actually, I love almost anything crunchy one would put in a salad.

    2. Raw mushrooms for me, too, plus raw green bell peppers. And sometimes garbanzo beans are just mealy and gross, maybe they're canned, or stale, I don't know, but I try to avoid them in salads.

      1. Pine Nuts - though I love them, I'm afraid of getting pine mouth

        Green Bell Pepper


        ...and I really dislike store-bought croutons

        ETA: should have also mentioned - too much dressing. Who wants soggy salad?!!

        6 Replies
        1. re: Breadcrumbs

          Preach it, Breadcrumbs. Ditto on the dislike of green bell pepper and celery. I take BIG (think Elaine) salads to work most days and will use store-bought croutons if I haven't made any. We have a brand down here made from Texas toast that aren't too crunchy to break a tooth, as most store-bought ones can do.

          1. re: KrumTx

            i love those texas toast croutons.

            1. re: alkapal

              I'm not much for croutons, but the Texas Toast croutons are amazing!

          2. re: Breadcrumbs

            "I'm afraid of getting pine mouth"

            Please tell: what is pine mouth?

            1. re: jettthecat

              It's a nasty taste and long lasting condition that some folks get from Chinese/Asian vs. Mediterranean pine nuts. The smaller, darker ones are the bad ones, with the larger dark ends.

            2. Most fresh fruit. Dried fruit is fine but don't put strawberries in my greens or grapes in my chicken salad. But raisins and cherries and cranberries are fine.
              Nuts, any nuts. Seeds like sunflower and sesame are fine but no nuts
              Mushrooms raw texture issues
              Macaroni or potato salads on greens. I like chicken, ham and tuna salad on greens but sometimes they serve my sides on a salad. Not a fan

              1. #s 1, 2, 3, etc. is cucumbers. We both loathe them. But we just pick them out.

                        1. re: sandylc

                          Completely with you on all of the above. Mostly olives. shudder.

                          1. re: sandylc

                            Hey! That sounds like a great combination for a salad! What kind of olives?

                              1. re: sandylc

                                sandyic, That's the ideal sort to go against the blue cheese! I think that you are on to something!
                                Work on it and you may become famous like Peaches Melba Geldoff!

                          2. Mushrooms. Period. I hate them, but especially raw ones. I also despise pickles and anchovies, so those are deal breakers as well.

                            1. Hard boiled egg because, well... I hate hard boiled eggs.

                              14 Replies
                                1. re: virtualguthrie

                                  I hate hard-boiled eggs, too. If they're sliced I can pick them out, but if they're crumbled, yuck! I don't like a lot of the standard salad ingredients, but most of them can be picked out/eaten around. But not avocado -- it gets avocado slime all over. So that's a deal-breaker for me. Same thing with bananas in fruit salad.

                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                    Yes, yes, yes, I say, "No, no, no" to bananas in fruit salad. There's no point in eating around them or picking them out. They still manage to get banana cooties all over the rest of the fruit.

                                    1. re: almond tree

                                      I like banana but hate how the smell gets everywhere! You cannot store bananas near any baked goods or bread. Bananas cannot go in the car for road trips. No banana in my bag lunch.

                                      1. re: almond tree

                                        "Banana" cooties.......lol

                                        Here's one for you while on the topic of banana's........Houlihan's (a chain restaurant in the North East, not sure how national they are) has an Ahi Tuna salad, with a sesame ginger dressing, with banana's and cashews. The list of ingredients made me throw up in my mouth a little bit, tuna and banana's? Well let me tell you something.......as unimaginable as it might seem, it is delicious!

                                        1. re: almond tree

                                          I can't stand bananas in fruit salad or smoothies - it all just tastes like banana.

                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                            That's my experience exactly. I like bananas for eating out of hand, but in combination with other ingredients, the banana flavor is dominating and overpowering.

                                            1. re: ohmyyum

                                              Preferable to the neanderthal custom of eating bananas out of foot.

                                              1. re: ohmyyum

                                                Yes. Love bananas on their own, preferably for breakfast, but not in food and beverages. They are overpowering in taste. I have NEVER seen them in a salad and I hope I never do.

                                                1. re: ohmyyum

                                                  Raw/ fresh/ out of hand banana-- all day long.
                                                  IN ANYTHING- no, No, NO!!!

                                                  And please don't ruin my stupidly-$5 smoothie by "tossing in a banana."

                                          2. re: virtualguthrie

                                            Yes! The yolks especially because they break up and get on everything else.

                                            1. re: virtualguthrie

                                              I loathe hard boiled eggs and if that crumbly yolk touches anything in a salad of mine, or any food on my plate, I truly cannot eat the rest of the food!

                                            2. While a side salad of fresh greens with dressing is great - large salads that exist of the bed of lettuce/greens and then all other toppings are not veggies (dried fuits, cheeses, nuts, meat, etc) are number one on my hate parade.

                                              When I want a salad, I want veggies - and this hatred is especially great when the nuts added are candied nuts. Bed of lettuce topped with candied pecans, dried fruit, and blue cheese? Just put that on the dessert list.

                                              8 Replies
                                              1. re: cresyd

                                                Agreed on the candied nuts! There are a lot of things I don't want to see in my salad - deli meat, red cabbage shavings, celery, fresh fruits, nuts, tortilla strips (or any of the gloppy things that might go into a taco "salad"). But the one that truly flummoxes me is candied nuts. They don't do anything for the salad, and they are typically only included in "salads" that left the healthy station three stops earlier.

                                                1. re: cresyd

                                                  People put candied nuts on a salad? Why?

                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                      Note to self: no more honey roasted cashews on my pomodoro salad.

                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                        You put pomodoro sauce on salad????? Yikes!

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          I think Veggo meant a tomato salad.

                                                      2. re: LMAshton

                                                        because the slightly sweet and unami undertones are often greatly missed by people on a diet. and its hardly something new. my grandmother had a recipe dating from the 30's with candied walnuts, pears, and spinach greens. A very tasty sandwich.

                                                    2. Cheese, in any way, shape or form. And I love cheese. Just not in my salad.

                                                      1. Mushrooms, cauliflower and broccoli are all vegetables I don't care for raw.
                                                        Sugary Craisins - yuck. Why put candy in a perfectly good salad?
                                                        But cheap bottled dressing is probably the worst.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: almond tree

                                                          I also hate bottled dressing. But even if it's homemade, I'd prefer to dress my own salad.

                                                          1. Raw carrot
                                                            Raw cauliflower
                                                            Red cabbage
                                                            Hard boiled egg
                                                            Watercress as the only green

                                                            I will not order a salad with a hard boiled egg on it. Or I will specify no egg.

                                                            I can usually pick around the vegetables if I have to.

                                                            9 Replies
                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                  I tried to like it my sophomore year of college but have since given up. The smell is ghastly.

                                                                  1. re: melpy

                                                                    The smell is ghastly.
                                                                    That usually means the eggs were cooked for too long or at a strong boil, either of which will result in the release of excess hydrogen sulfide - the compound responsible for that unpleasant odor. (I personally have a bigger problem with the smell of store-bought mayonnaise.) Over-cooking or improper cooking also makes for rubbery eggs.

                                                                    To prevent stinky eggs, *cook them properly*...
                                                                    - Bring eggs to room temperature before cooking.
                                                                    - Start them in a pot of cool water with 1 Tbsp of white vinegar, and heat on the stove just until the water begins to boil (you should see large bubbles breaking the surface all around the edge).
                                                                    - Cover the pot, remove from heat, and let sit until the eggs are cooked through - 12 min for medium eggs, 17 min for large eggs, 19-20 min for x-large or jumbo eggs.
                                                                    - Drain the eggs immediately and transfer to an ice bath (or run cold water over them and toss in a few ice cubes) to stop the cooking.

                                                                    When you make your egg salad, add a splash of vinegar to the dressing/mayonnaise, which will neutralize any sulfuric odor.

                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                      They can smell *less* ghastly, but then you go and mix them with mayo (double yuck!) and you're back at square one.

                                                                      Egg salad offends every one of my senses -- I don't even like the way it sounds when people bite into an egg salad sandwich!

                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                        I like the sulfurous taste and aroma of egg salad. It's hard to find it anywhere else, except a deviled egg.

                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                          I dislike deviled eggs. In Spain they put tuna salad in the cup of the hard white and I would pick out the tuna and eat it without the egg.

                                                                          I can tolerate the HBE if small amounts are hidden in macaroni or potato salad.

                                                                2. Bacon (bits or crumbled) because I don't eat pork.

                                                                  Raw onion because I can still taste it many hours later, and because I don't want my breath stinking. It's ok if it's big rings on top and I can just take them off. But I've been to functions where the restaurant serves their "famous" chopped salad and those little bits of onion are impossible to pick out.

                                                                  Giant hard croutons. There's no good way to eat them.

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: AmyH

                                                                    All too often the giant hard croutons are from a box and stale to boot.

                                                                    1. re: sr44

                                                                      If there's anything easier to make than croutons, I haven't come across it.

                                                                      1. re: sr44

                                                                        Or the restaurant's leftover bread and rolls from the week before, allowed to get rock hard before frying in a bunch of oil. You can always tell this is the case when the croutons are white, wheat and rye. There should be a law against rye croutons.

                                                                    2. Another vote for hard boiled eggs, in salads or anywhere. And I hate green pepper in any way, shape or form. And I don't care for raw spinach or mushrooms, though I like them cooked (but not in salad).

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: valerie

                                                                        +1 on the green pepper (or all bell peppers, really) hatred. They overwhelm every dish they're in, and like the aforementioned banans, get their cooties all over everything!

                                                                      2. I *love* all sorts of salads so while I prefer some ingredient combos over others, not too many things are entirely offputting. My hate parade is short:

                                                                        1) Salad that has been DROWNED in dressing (similar aversion to pasta drenched in sauce)

                                                                        2) A salad, sold as a "tossed salad" that is compromised 95% of iceberg lettuce whose leaves are almost entirely whole. If you're going to cheap out on a salad (you know the kind.... one puny cherry tomato and two wilted cucumber slices on top, the rest iceberg.... at least prepare the damn "greens"

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: pinehurst

                                                                          Your comment about overdressed pasta reminds me of an incident I witnessed years ago. My husband and I had stopped for lunch at a restaurant on the Cape (we were coming back to Boston after a weekend there). At a neighboring table, a man received an order of pasta so wet that at first I took it for soup. He summoned the waiter over to his table and explained the problem. The waiter looked very confused, so the man just asked very politely, "Could you please just bring me a colander and another plate then? I'll take care of this myself."

                                                                        2. --fruit
                                                                          --roasted red pepper
                                                                          --sun-dried tomatoes

                                                                          Wow and I thought I was a fairly good eater! The big ones are fruit and nuts. I hate fruit and nuts in my food. I like it on its own but no mango salsa on my fish or walnuts in my salad please.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. Ham, canned tuna, most firm cheeses

                                                                            1. Raw red onion. The bitter bite of chunks of red onion has ruined many a salad. Onions need to be white or yellow, and very thinly sliced so they almost dissolve into the background. Pickled red onions, however, are more than welcome.

                                                                              Sweet, fruity dressings.

                                                                              Whole anchovies.

                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                              1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                Interesting. Diced red onion may be my single favorite ingredient (certainly in the top five) for a salad.

                                                                                  1. re: AmyH

                                                                                    Khan gets AmyH's red onions and I'll take the anchovies of everyone skeeved out by those fishies.

                                                                                    1. re: AmyH

                                                                                      MMMMM. Red onion and Dreamsicles...

                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                          Dreamsicles? In a salad? My god, where do you eat???

                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                            Actually Dreamsicles cubed, rolled in finely minced red onion and flash fried. Almost a crouton type affair.

                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                He's just messing with me because those are my two most loathed foods, from two different Chow threads.

                                                                                  2. Meat. Fish is okay, but please, no meat in my salad.

                                                                                    Okay, I can deal with chicken and/or bacon in a cobb salad, but otherwise, no thanks.

                                                                                    Other than that, I'm good with everything everybody listed above.

                                                                                    1. I'm pretty liberal when it comes to salad but I really hate three things:

                                                                                      1. Meat in salad
                                                                                      2. Olives
                                                                                      3.hard boiled eggs.

                                                                                      1. crumbled goat or feta
                                                                                        pickled beets
                                                                                        raw broccoli
                                                                                        ranch dressing
                                                                                        green peppers

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: laliz

                                                                                          Okay, yeah, I think I'd refuse a salad that had crumbled goat in it too.

                                                                                          I don't even want to think about how one crumbles a goat!

                                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                                            But you're ok with cooked fish heads, right?

                                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                  Guess so. I just figured with his fondness for Latin preparations he might make an exception of escabeche snapper heads.

                                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                      I imagine he'll be along to settle the matter directly.

                                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                        Chilled grouper cheeks in escabeche would be my fish head limit on a salad.

                                                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                Lol! I also prefer to not have last week's garbage on my salad; otherwise, I'm pretty open to most things in the right combination.

                                                                                              2. not an ingredient, but the state of the greens: any SPECK of slimy black greens is a killer for me. it will attack my intestinal tract almost immediately.

                                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                  The Khantessa has the same phobia. She's been known to throw out more greens than she uses when making a salad, and did so last night.

                                                                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                      fear of slimy black greens. someone has to have a name for that.


                                                                                                      but i don't think it is a phobia.
                                                                                                      wariness is more like it -- vigilance.

                                                                                                      not a deal-breaker, but a pisser-offer: romaine stem ends that are included in the salad because the establishment is cheap or has dummy salad makers.

                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                        Yeah, nobody wants putrid vegetables in their salad, but I think this can be taken to extremes. One infinitesimal, dark speck on a leaf of spinach shouldn't be the fodder for the disposal that a black leaf is.

                                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                          oh yes a very small amount will give me the problem -- smaller than ⅓ inch. i cannot see infintesimal dark specks, though.

                                                                                                          hey, i think the size that causes me problems i'll call "infintestinal"!!!

                                                                                                        2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                          I don't order salads much in restaurants for the same reason, especially mixed greens. Staff just aren't careful enough for me. I really cannot stand the texture of any wilted green. Too slimy.

                                                                                                          Those mixed greens can turn very quickly just from a couple of bad leaves. Working in a resort kitchen, it was always a bit of a crap shoot pulling a case from the shelf. And then there would be a rush order for a salad plate where I'd be lazy and just pull the case partway off the shelf and reach in without looking, only to pull out a handful of slime. Turned me off wilted greens or any little bit of black on greens forever.

                                                                                                          Also hate getting a caesar salad that has a lot of stems.

                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                            Putrivegiphobia--I love it!! But I'm with PK, phobias are real. You only have to see me experience mellisophobia once to believe it.
                                                                                                            That said, I also hate slime in my salad.

                                                                                                        3. re: alkapal

                                                                                                          That's interesting. I get skeeved out by slime and usually toss whatever green it touched, but I didn't realize it could actually cause illness.

                                                                                                          1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                            Guaranteed wrenching stomach cramps and more, in my case.

                                                                                                            1. re: almond tree

                                                                                                              for me, it involves serious gut rumbling and having to make a bee line for the loo -- within 10-15 minutes at most, i'd venture.

                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                That's the "more" I was referring to -- trying to be delicate :)

                                                                                                        4. eggs
                                                                                                          bottled salad dressing

                                                                                                          1. Chicken breast, salmon steak, sliced roast beef.

                                                                                                            Limp greens.

                                                                                                            Roasted veggies. They belong with the antipasto.

                                                                                                            I love a cobb salad. Please mix and dress it in front of me.

                                                                                                            Ice or greens frozen to the dish.

                                                                                                            1. Blue (or bleu) cheese!!! Yuckyuckyuckyuck. Nothing anyone can do will change my mind.
                                                                                                              I also agree with some others that too much dressing is a big turn off

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                Bleu cheese is one of the great loves of my life, but it's certainly not for everybody. The Khantessa is a bit leary of the stuff. I'm the same way about cilantro, but she can't get enough.

                                                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                  Cilantro is probably the most polarizing food I can think of. Personally, I love it, but everyone's palate and grey matter is different. Blue cheese just has a certain tang that is all wrong, IMHO, but people mostly love it, so y'all can have mine :)

                                                                                                              2. Well apparently I don't have any deal breakers.

                                                                                                                I don't care for whole anchovies, but I won't send a salad back for having them on it. I just find whole to be a little too strong in flavor for a salad, I will use paste when making my own dressings.

                                                                                                                I do use whole when making a puttanesca or even white clam sauce, but I cook them nice and slow till they dissolve in the oil and garlic etc.

                                                                                                                  1. re: rmarisco

                                                                                                                    GAH! Okay, now I have three things on my list. Good call.

                                                                                                                    1. re: rmarisco

                                                                                                                      Jello? Where on earth do you live?

                                                                                                                    2. Mushrooms, olives, hard-boiled eggs, and bleu cheese. The first two gross me out, but if they are big enough, I can pick them out and continue eating. Any of these items chopped small will require the salad to be sent back and a "clean" one requested. (This is why I hate when restaurants don't list ingredients on the menu... it means more work for them!)

                                                                                                                      1. green peppers
                                                                                                                        raw onions of any kind
                                                                                                                        canned mushrooms

                                                                                                                          1. iceberg lettuce. Yeah, I know it's sort of a trend, but I think it tastes like whatever it was next to in the fridge, even if you just picked it.

                                                                                                                            Huge, anemic slices of tomatoes. If they aren't good, leave them out. If they are, please seed and cut them nicely.

                                                                                                                            Raw onion rings. Just don't.

                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                              Totally agree on the iceberg and nasty tomatoes. I love tomatoes, but if they aren't ripe, they have no business appearing in a salad.

                                                                                                                              I also hate store bought croutons, shredded cheeses (a few crumbles of something punchy is a different story), dried fruits, candied nuts and pickled hot or sweet peppers. Pickled peppers have their place, but not in my salad.

                                                                                                                              I'm not a fan of commercial dressings, particularly ranch and any vinaigrette that has dried herbs that retain their pencil shaving-like texture.

                                                                                                                              My last pet peeve is the pseudo-Greek salad that is a) coated in cheap commercial feta and b) topped with those icky sliced pitted black olives. It's whole Kalamatas (preferably with pits) or don't bother.

                                                                                                                              1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                                                                Mrs. Cubbison is like a goddess to me. A green goddess.

                                                                                                                                1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                                                                  If 'regular' tomatoes aren't looking good I'll use Romas. I slice them ahead of time, s&p and a tiny bit of oo. Croutons are just too darn easy to fix. Almost 100% of the time I have bread onhand. A little oo, some garlic. Croutons.

                                                                                                                              2. Heart of palm. Also raw mushrooms, but I can pick those out.

                                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                                                                  I'll take your hearts of palm. Love the hell out of those things

                                                                                                                                  1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                    Me too. Can't get enough hearts of palm!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: valerie

                                                                                                                                      My grandma used to cut the trees down herself and peel away until you got to the heart and then she gave us fresh slices before she cooked them. It was alot of work but so worth it.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                          Grandma must've been Xena the warrior princess.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                            in florida, it is colloquially "cabbage palm" or "palmetto palm" (sabal palmetto) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabal_pa...

                                                                                                                                            hearts of palm (prepped another way) is called "swamp cabbage." mmm mmm good!


                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                              You nailed it! Mmmm, swamp cabbage.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                Will gladly stand in line for cracker swamp cabbage.

                                                                                                                                  2. I'm not a fan of raw mushrooms in salads, either, but love them cooked.

                                                                                                                                    And unless it's mixed in with other greens, I don't know the point of iceberg lettuce. It's not even green.

                                                                                                                                    But my number one thing I can not do in salads, or anywhere for that matter? Fennel. Oh God I do hate it so.

                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                                                      I can assume black jelly beans must freak you out as well?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                        Correct. Black jelly beans, anise, any anise-flavored liquor, etc., just repels me.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                                                          And strange as it sounds, I love licorice anything and despise fennel. People are funny creatures

                                                                                                                                            1. re: firecooked

                                                                                                                                              Just what I was saying, people are funny creatures. I like licorice for the herbal and medicinal flavors and sweetness qualities. Fennel tastes like licorice and celery had an affair. Not my thing

                                                                                                                                      2. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                                                        And I will take your fennel, and anyone's black jelly beans, and have them with whomever's discarded anchovies....and a shot of Sambuca.
                                                                                                                                        Burp. Thank you.

                                                                                                                                      3. Sweet salad dressings just make me wanna hurl. I've never understood the mindset of dousing greens and veggies in sugar laden glop. It's a very fine line between a touch of sweet for balance, and "might as well just top your salad with melted ice cream." Generally, I only like a hint of sweet in vinegar/oil based dressings, but as for creamy ones - no sugar is just fine with me.

                                                                                                                                        1. I work at a company with thousands of people at my site, and we have a large cafeteria with a well-stocked salad bar that's probably 40 feet long. As I work my way along the salad bar, I'm often struck by how different people's tastes are... often there's almost no overlap in what's picked by me and by my two neighbours in the line (and little overlap between them either).

                                                                                                                                          And I agree with about half of the disliked ingredients in this thread -- but love the other half.

                                                                                                                                          It's like Jack Sprat...

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                            i lament the loss of great salad bars in restaurants! (and not the kind at $7/pound, like what you see today in cafeterias and grocery stores).

                                                                                                                                          2. Candied pecans/walnuts. Whoever dreamed that up should be shot.

                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: judybird

                                                                                                                                              Unless they're in a candy bowl :)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                Why would their being in a candy bowl make you not want to shoot them?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                  Because then they're "candy" and not "salad."

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                    By "their" I meant the people who dreamed up candied nutz.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                      I've never made them but I have bought them a couple of times that were pretty darn wonderful.

                                                                                                                                            2. raw onions
                                                                                                                                              green bell pepper
                                                                                                                                              raw mushrooms -- mushrooms are simply a vehicle for butter. raw they taste like paper
                                                                                                                                              raw broccoli or cauliflower
                                                                                                                                              factory-farm, out-of-season tomatoes. yeah, they might be red, but that's the only relation.

                                                                                                                                              most of these items you can pick out, and i have never been served a salad where i was "surprised" by some kind of meat on it. did you not read the menu?

                                                                                                                                              1. I love cooked mushrooms and cooked broccoli, but if my salad has any of the following:

                                                                                                                                                raw mushrooms
                                                                                                                                                raw broccoli
                                                                                                                                                cauliflower of any variety
                                                                                                                                                garbanzo beans

                                                                                                                                                it's over for me.

                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                                                                                    Uh, I don't like it, never have in no form.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                      Ever hear of the Hatfield -McCoy feud? My wife and her whole family (except me and the kids, my influence) have this hate on for not only cucumbers but the whole cucurbita family. Melons, squash, zucchini, cukes, etc. All cukes. Not only the short ones with warts and the medium sized thick ones, but the long thin ones in a sheath as well.
                                                                                                                                                      How about you?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                                                                                        Well, I hate cucumbers but can tolerate zucchini although not a particular favorite. I love all pickles, any form but I can't handle half-sours or less pickled. I can do cantaloupe but absolutely no honeydew and really don't enjoy squash at all. This is quite interesting, I should survey my family.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                        hmmm... Hate cucumbers...? Have you ever had tzatziki? Everybody loves tzatziki!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                          Sorry, C1, I don't like it. Tastes like...cucumber :)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                            It's OK in small doses but then I get cuked out

                                                                                                                                                    2. Not a fan of raw tomatoes and onions. Still a bit leery on fruits in salad but I can do strawberries and apples so far.

                                                                                                                                                      1. I'll just mention here that more and more I'm doing "salad bars," where each topping is in its own little bowl or a few things to a plate. People can choose what they want. I do that when it's just the two of us also. If there are any leftover greens then they're still going to be in non-soggy state for a subsequent meal.

                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                          "Make your own salad night" is a favorite in our house. With 4 kids, there are a lot of different likes and dislikes. We often do this on nights when there was leftover grilled chicken and/or steak. Then it is just a matter of putting them and the other toppings in their own bowls, hard boiling some eggs (sorry to the Yuckers on this thread but we like them), and putting out an array of dressings (again sorry to the Yuckers). Since we're from Pittsburgh I'll sometimes make some French fries to throw on the salads, too. (no doubt that will bring a chorus of Yucks!)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                            Your yucks sounds pretty yum to me :)

                                                                                                                                                            I actually got the idea from an old, old Bon Appetit and made it for a huge party of probably 50. The greens were in a new, big, plastic dish pan :) And as you say multiple dressings and tons of toppings. It totally shut up the foam-at-the-mouth-but wear-leather-shoes vegan :)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                              My yuck comes not from the fries, but the lousy meat they used in the sixties.

                                                                                                                                                              And having recently visited, still not impressed. But they are good enough to be a chain now.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                                                                                                Are you referring to a particular restaurant?

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                              If I did make your own salad night nobody would eat any salad. I literally have to put vegetables in his plate to get my fiancé to eat them. So I serve everything in the kitchen and send the food out already plated.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: melpy

                                                                                                                                                                With adults I figure it's not my job to police them.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                  Not really policing. We belong to a CSA and if I didn't give him food on a plate I would have to eat it ALL myself which I can't do before it rots. He would eat fast food and frozen pretzels for every meal if I didn't cook and serve. I am not spending money on groceries to watch everything rot and have him spend twice as much on junk.

                                                                                                                                                            3. Any fish
                                                                                                                                                              Raw mushrooms
                                                                                                                                                              Raw broccoli
                                                                                                                                                              Raw cauliflower
                                                                                                                                                              Unpeeled cucumber
                                                                                                                                                              Inferior tomatoes
                                                                                                                                                              Most sweet dressings except on a 1950s iceberg salad
                                                                                                                                                              Hot peppers (but pepperoncini rings are ok)
                                                                                                                                                              Hot onions
                                                                                                                                                              Anything not properly cut. I detest big wedges of bell pepper but very thinly sliced it is nice.

                                                                                                                                                              1. actually, now that i'm really thinking about ?

                                                                                                                                                                the real deal breaker for me?

                                                                                                                                                                hair that is not mine.

                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                                  Lucky for me the hair is always mine. I shred something fierce.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: melpy

                                                                                                                                                                    Pity the guy on the Geico commercials.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                      so easy a caveman can shed it?

                                                                                                                                                                  2. I like many of the things on the 'hated' list here, including some bottled dressings. But as an avowed onion hater, I don't like it when I am given a pre-made salad in a restaurant that has onions all through it because the flavor tends to permeate the whole salad.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Corn and beets are the absolute worst offenders. They're impossible to pick out and the very sight of them revolts me. Kidney beans as well, although those can be picked out.

                                                                                                                                                                      I also despise sweet salad dressing. Whoever invented raspberry vinaigrette should be hanged.

                                                                                                                                                                      19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                        Thankfully, I don't think I've ever been served a salad containing corn.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                          I'm surprised by that. I've seen many salads with corn in them. Especially Mexican-style salads.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                            I've seen plenty of relishes with corn, but never a greens-based salad.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                just abut every fast food chain's "southwestern salad" has corn. here is micky d's: http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/p...
                                                                                                                                                                                chick-fil-a seems to have ended its southwestern salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                lots of online recipes -- and community cookbooks -- with corn in the salads.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, I've never clapped eyes on a southwestern salad, so I guess I've been lucky.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                              In Spain a green salad typically has canned corn. Also white asparagus, shoestring carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, canned tuna, red wine vinegar and oil.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: melpy

                                                                                                                                                                                Hmmm. Outside of the corn, that doesn't sound half bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: melpy

                                                                                                                                                                                  i've had my share of salad in spain and never seen this combo, and NEVER saw corn in a salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                                                    My mom used to add canned corn to mixed salad (iceberg or butter lettuce, cukes, tomatoes... and corn). I actually preferred that over kidney beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                    ETA: Leave those kidney beans off my salad, please. Total deal breaker. PITA to pick out, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                                                      I should have specified Andalucia. I can specifically remember seeing it at restaurants in Sevilla and I lived in Malaga. Perhaps it is regional?

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                    Corn is often on the salad bars in Slovenia.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: shoo bee doo

                                                                                                                                                                                      Spain. Slovenia! Is no place safe from the iniquitous incursion of corn?!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                        I encounter it frequently on salads in Germany. Beets too. It's just wrong. WRONG.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                          The one and only time I saw corn in a salad was my first meal in Rome. Hated it and swore that I would never just wander into a restaurant in Rome. I still feel cheated ot of a meal in one of the greatest culinary cities in the world!

                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                    You just reminded me of one!

                                                                                                                                                                                    Baby corn! Detest. It is easy to pick off though.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: melpy

                                                                                                                                                                                      Okay see, now I'm a baby corn fanatic. If you left a stir fry (or salad) with baby corn in front of me, I'd be tempted to pick off all the baby corn---and eat it--while you weren't looking. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                                                                        i guess i need to try fresh baby corn, because canned tastes like…well, the can!

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                      Sweet salad dressing is the kiss of death for me. Other than that, I do not love raw broccoli or green pepper but can pick those out if necessary. I'm OK with almost everything else if done in moderation.

                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Mandarin oranges
                                                                                                                                                                                      Dried fruit
                                                                                                                                                                                      Most fresh fruit (there are a few exceptions depending on the other ingredients in the salad)
                                                                                                                                                                                      Candied nuts
                                                                                                                                                                                      Canned bamboo shoots
                                                                                                                                                                                      Green bell pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                      Sweet dressing (and pretty much all bottled dressing)
                                                                                                                                                                                      Raw broccoli & cauliflower
                                                                                                                                                                                      Chunks of raw carrot, zucchini or squash (grated is fine)
                                                                                                                                                                                      Marinated mushrooms & artichoke hearts
                                                                                                                                                                                      Cucumber with thick skin
                                                                                                                                                                                      Potato (potato salad is great, just keep the taters off my green salad!)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                        Wow, I don't want ANY of those things either. Shiver.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Eggs, cheese except mozzarella, croutons

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Other than icky stuff like slimy greens or sweet dressings, I will happily make a salad of most of the things everyone here rejects!
                                                                                                                                                                                          Give me cukes, onions, mushrooms, garbanzos, kidney beans, meat, cheese, hard boiled egg, green peppers on top of some romaine and I've got a meal.
                                                                                                                                                                                          For a dessert salad, I'll have the fruit and nuts, please.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Just don't put goat cheese or ranch dressing anywhere near my plate, thank you.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. sugar glazed nuts, sugary sweet dressings, more demerits if the dressing is thickened goop. chow mein noodles or tortilla strips.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. White chocolate. Seriously, there is a thread around here about someone's friend's chicken salad with white chocolate recipe.
                                                                                                                                                                                              I love salads of all kinds and don't have any deal breakers I can think of. Preferences, yes, deal breakers, no.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Mayonnaise. Or anything "creamy" really.

                                                                                                                                                                                                This applies to green salads as well as potato and pasta salads in my taste-bud book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Just a personal preference. I like the "bite" of vinegar and perhaps mustard, bound with olive or another light oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. While I'm not a fan of raw mushrooms, my big pet peeve is salad that has nothing to do with the rest of the meal. I don't want a Caesar salad with middle eastern food, or a pear, walnut and Stilton salad with enchiladas. It drives me nuts. I wonder what's wrong with these people. And I'm sure they are wondering what the heck is wrong with me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: maxie

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Agree. Salad as an opener may be an American "thing" but please make sure it makes "sense" considering the meal to follow! Mixing ethnic backgrounds= not a problem for me, but mis-matching flavor profiles? Huge problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: maxie

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have preached this very thing for years and years, in the kitchen, in classrooms and here on Chowhound. Your menu needs to show a fluidity behind it otherwise you have competing flavors that throw all of the dishes off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. most beans do not belong in salad. and a three bean salad is just a bad joke. garbanzo beans should only be used to make hummus. edamame i can deal with, its more 'pea like' than bean like to me. and heaven help anyone who puts lima beans in anything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      i also love beets, but you really have to be careful with them in a salad, they turn everything a strange shade. And raw onion better be sliced pretty thin - or marinaded. Same with bell pepper, especially green. I'm not a fan of cauliflower, please leave it out of my salad, although broccoli is ok.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      some cheese is ok on the right salad, and i have always adored blue cheese, even as a child. Go figure. Nuts, sure, candied nuts, yes but lets be judicious with them. Fruit, well remember its not a fruit salad, and if it is, why is there lettuce in here? And who decided to put lettuce in a greek salad?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      dressing, of course i prefer a good homemade, but some bottled arent bad. and ive had some bad homemade dressings too . . . so, ummm.... this is your signature dressing huh? .. its unique. ive never had french with soy sauce and horseradish before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      u completely agree that the tomatoes should have flavor and be red, unless you know some great recipe for green tomato salad. and yes, i prefer to eat my salad without using a knife, but if you want to do a chunky salad, then at least provide a knife. As for proteins, tofu, fish, meat, fowl, ive had good and bad salads with all of them. Even spam, although it would not have been my first choice. So aside from garbanzos and the like bring it on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                                                                        awww, k-man, don't be hatin' on my three bean salad!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        and chick peas? dang, that is harsh -- you only want them pulverized!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        oooh, hittin' on limas, too?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        you are one tough cookie ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I LOVE chickpeas/garbanzos. Can eat them straight from a can. I don't hate hummus but would never go out of my way to eat it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          We were on a cruise last year and, as cruises are, way too much food was offered. I opted for salads most days for lunch. The problem was that I'm wearing braces on my teeth and greens are such a pain for me. So I did the salad bar but only the toppings. I loved it that way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I love salads very much and have one almost daily.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        That said, I'm finicky about my combos (tho not *nearly* as finicky as some other hounds on this thread).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Generally speaking, leave the freakin' fruit out. I don't care if it's fresh or dried, I don't want it. Unless it's a combo of granny smith, blue cheese & toasted walnuts. Doable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Or unless it's canned mandarin oranges in my Belgian endive salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Or unless it's grapefruit segments in my shaved fennel & with toasted walnuts salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        So nuts are ok, obviously, as are a variety of cheeses :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chickpeas have no raison d'être other than to be obliterated into hummus, which I can take or leave any day. Whole chickpeas in salad are like biting into tasteless, mealy balls (insert your immature joke here).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hard-boiled egg is ok when added to one of my favorite winter salads: mâche, avocado, walnuts with a creamy dressing, but it's not essential.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fuck non-ripe, flavorless, mealy tomatoes, I'd rather not have any at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I can do raw cauli & brocc, but don't tend to use these myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I like the slightly spicy, earthy bite that thinly sliced button mushrooms will add to a salad, they'd actually probably go well with my winter mâche combo. Thinly sliced radish is also nice, as is red onion, but it's better quick-pickled beforehand as to not be burping it up for hours afterwards. That flavor won't leave you for a while.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm ok with cheese, but please leave cold cuts (like ham and such) out of my salad. My man once asked why I never put salami in salad. My facial expression was enough for this to become a bit of a running gag in our house. Gag indeed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I can do tuna, but would prefer it with a Niçoise-type o'salad -- baby taters, egg, olives, tuna, green beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Again, for me it boils down to whether the combo of ingredients works.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hold the bottled dressing, they all taste off to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. The ONLY deal breaker in salads I can think of is raw onion. And that's my mother's fault. Sometime between the time I was three and four, I was trying valiantly to learn how to tell lies like an adult. They lied all of the time, but no one ever called them on it, but if I told the littlest white lie, I got nailed! So I kept telling lies on purpose, trying to master the fine art of lying like an adult. And every time I told one, my very wicked mother (whom I loved, despite her wickedness) would jam a raw onion in my mouth until I gagged. Child abuse! Child abuse! But hey, that was 76 years ago, and there's no changing it now, but.... I HATE raw oions...!!! mmmm... I also don't care for any kind of brains on a salad. But maybe that's just me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                            damn, an i was just going to share my secret recipe for brain/raw onion salad with cool whip and orange soda dressing. Of course it is topped with shaved white chocolate. I prefer it without raisins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                                                                              And you, Dear Heart, are obviousley a true GORE-may! '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Ranch dressing. What an abomination. Shouldn't have ever been dreamed up. I'd sooner have thousand Island (which I despise) on a salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love salad. Not real keen on red lettuces, except for radicchio, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I'm trying to imagine...if I had CHs over for dinner and wanted to serve a salad what could be in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                After reading this thread, you might refrain from serving a salad at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Maybe I'd start off w/ won ton soup, followed by a baked potato...:-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I tell ya, PK, this thread has definitely convince me to continue to do salad bars. Scary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A salad bar would be the only way to go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would never invite Chowhounds over for dinner ... for fear that the next day there would be a post titled "Just had the worst dinner party, what would you have said to the host if they THIS in the salad?!?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Today the pantry cook put brandied cherries in the staff meal salad. Arugula, fingerling potatoes, brandied cherries. Definitely a deal-breaker for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: babette feasts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Better than candied cherries, but still pretty damn awful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Anything that moves. Sometimes the prep will miss a little crawly thing on a lettuce leaf. It's happened a couple of times; once to mrs. G and once to someone else at our table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          OMG! Mucho! I agree - if there's something moving on my plate that is an absolute deal breaker.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I just read a book (can't remember the name, now) when the author was eating a baby octopus salad and one crawled off of her plate. When she called the waiter over, the waiter replied "The chef prefers to handle the ingredients as little as possible". Gag!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. -Mayonnaise-y dressing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Sweet dressings, apart from that creamy cool slightly gingery dressing that I get at Japanese restaurants on a salad...that stuff's pretty okay.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Thousand Island or Russian dressing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Carrots-I hate carrots and see no reason for their existence in the human diet haha. But I can pick them out of a salad.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Don't like shredded cheese on a salad. Crumbles, shavings, or balls are the preferred cheese shapes. haha
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Radishes- but only because I've never had one, yet still don't think they'd be that great (Can anyone inform me otherwise?)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Ham/Pepperoni/whatever. These are the most deal-breaker-y of all for me, because I do not eat meat other than seafood. But even more so, I just don't think ham on a salad SOUNDS good. Chicken, I get that. It makes more sense to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Other than those things , I'm really an equal opportunist for salads. And unlike the OP, I *loveee* raw spinach salads. And raw mushrooms all over the place :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I love them, too, despite the aftermath = porta-potty burps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ok after hearing that phrase, I'm pretty sure I've made the right decision in avoiding radishes...Hahaha porta-potty burps????

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Meowzerz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lol. I am not a fan at all. Super crispy horseradish and dirt. No thanks. And thank god I haven't eaten enough to get porta-potty burbs. Oh the horror.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The problem is that it doesn't take many radishes to result in the vilest burps in human history. I honestly can't think of another food with similar consequences. Onions aren't even close.... maybe some of the Sichuan dishes we eat: lotsa garlic & black bean sauce & whatnot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My man *hates* it when I eat raw onion or radishes for that reason. Life's tough sometimes '-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lordy girl, are ya makin' me glad I hate radishes. I also have to limit my raw onion to help the man deal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        How did I make it through 25 years of life without hearing about radishes' dirty little secret. haha. Well, I like lots of gas-inducing stuff (beans, cabbage, cauliflower) but I'm just gonna continue on down my radish-free road.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I loathe horseradish. I like dirt taste (weird). Like the earthy taste of mushrooms or the skin on a potato. But yeah, that's a gross thought!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh shoot! Add beets to my DEALBREAKER list. I hate beets!! I know beet salad is *en vogue* right now but I tasted them once and felt like spitting it out. It was a sample in a grocery store so I felt it would be impolite to do so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Meowzerz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hahah I loooove beets, but they are indeed a very polarizing ingredient!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: Meowzerz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A man-burp in a porta-potty can resemble a space launch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Perhaps occasionally a good riddance - ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Frisee. It is bitter, unwieldy on the fork, and about as pleasant to chew as a twig.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mels

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ha. I read hastily, and saw, "as pleasant to chew as a wig", and thought that it was a very apt description!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mels

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        When I first read your post I couldn't understand how you had ever been served a frisbee on your salad! Time to get the prescription in my glasses changed, perhaps?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Radicchio. I cannot tolerate the bitterness. If I can pick it out, I'll eat the salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In a fruit salad, I won't touch it if it has bananas in it. I will occasionally eat a fruit salad with apples or pairs, but not if they've gone brown or mushy. Blech.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Beans! I love beans, but don't want them touching my greens. Also, broccoli, whole cherry tomatoes (please cut them in half!!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: master815k

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You don't like to chase bouncing cherry tomatoes around, trying to stab them with your fork?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That's exactly it! Plus they kind of taste waxy/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Or trying to bite them discreetly or cut them so the juice doesn't pop out?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i love poking them with a fork, wondering where the juice is going to land. on the table? on the white dress of the woman opposite me, or the tan slacks of the guy next to me? grape tomatoes aren't quite as bad, but then i have a big mouth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LOL! I have a juvenile mind because that makes me think of that scene from Something about Mary...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I had a new co-worker whose peperoncino squirted in my eye. She was mortified but I couldn't stop laughing because of the fluke of it. I probably would have reacted differently if it had hurt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You wouldn't have chortled if it had been a habanero. I know this from experience. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        chowser you are evil. I'm reminded of a young lady at church camp who bit down on her hot dog at lunch one day . . . just one more reason I don't put mayonnaise on mine. we never did quite figure out the physics of that incident.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My husband simply CANNOT squeeze a lemon at the table without getting me in the eye. The first year I took it as an accident; the next few years I believed it was deliberate; nowadays I'm just amazed at his precision.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm sorry but I had to chuckle when I read this. I have a habit of squirting myself which I guess is better than your husband squirting you. The juice just never seems to go in the container I'm aiming for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Bacon, chick peas and oranges kill salads for me

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Slammy19

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hey! That sounds like a great combination for a salad!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How do you think adding onion, blue cheese and olives would go?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Green peppers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bottled dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    pre-fab croutons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lousy tomatoes (which, let's face it, is the vast majority).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Fingertips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Okay, seriously, I hate salads soggy with dressing, regardless of flavor specifics. But that's an execution issue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ingredients? I agree with the OP that raw mushrooms bring nothing much to the party--their flavors are inert in that state. Also raw broccoli. Both seem like laziness to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I love salad!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What kills the salad for me:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        green pepper or roasted red pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        radiccio- tastes like burnt rubber
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        blue cheese- too dominating
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        greens that aren't fresh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        sautéed organ meats (kidneys etc like the like to do in France)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anything else is tolerable for me

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Any kind of raw onion or iceberg lettuce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. LOL. At this very moment I'm eating spring mix with chunks of roasted beet, chevre, toasted (not candied!) pecans, green apple, and balsamic/oil dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That said, I hate chef salads. Deli meat can GTFO of my salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Seems most of the "high end" salads I see have goat cheese or lately, fried green tomatoes. ICK.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Olives
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pickles (Not counting potato, tuna, egg, etc salads)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Canned/jarred white Asparagus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ranch dressing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hard Boiled Egg (on occasion it's done right, 99% of the time NOT)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Arugula as the ONLY salad green

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Raw green bell peppers ... I don't mind picking them out, so the bigger the chunks, the better. Other than that, I can't think of anything I've actually seen in a salad that wasn't OK.