Found: The Formula for a Perfect Salad

The original chopped salad at Citizen Public House in Scottsdale, Arizona, is so famous that it has its own Facebook page. The dish is a mixture of ingredients that when listed out—smoked salmon, freeze-dried corn, Israeli couscous, trail mix, and basil buttermilk dressing—have you scratching your head. How can smoked salmon tossed with a trail mix of toasted pepitas, black currants, and aged asiago cheese possibly taste good together? We had to try it, and after just one bite, our minds were blown.

Salad is rarely a dish that has people jumping out of their seats for more, so what was it about this chopped salad that made diners salivate as if faced with a Peter Luger steak? After careful on-the-ground reporting (which required consuming many a salad), we’ve come up with a foolproof seven-step formula to constructing the perfect bowl of greens. Here’s how to make sure your next lunch is so popular it’s worthy of its own Facebook page.