Personally, I hate to make salads. Whenever people ask what they can bring to dinner, I blurt out "salad" without a moment's hesitation. Maybe that's because I'm not so good at making them. My friend, on the other hand, makes a killer salad. Here are her rules:
1. Use a good homemade salad dressing (see recipes).
2. Dress the salad in moderation-don't drown the greens.
3. Use greens that actually have some flavor-arugula, spring mix, frisee, spinach, radicchio, mache, watercress and endive.
4. Consider contrasts in your salad-sweet dried cranberries or raisins with sharp feta cheese, rich walnuts with bright crisp radishes or carrots.
5. Actually toss the salad. This way all the ingredients get coated with the dressing. (There's a reason it's called a "tossed" salad.)