Salad for a crowd

Joined Feb 1, 2017
What are some examples of salads that hold up well?

On a buffet line?

Salads set out early?  Any tips / tricks to keeping them looking nice?

Joined Jul 29, 2011
fully cooked and cooled bowtie pasta

julliened oil packed sundried tomatoes

Kalamata olives

baby spinach

crumbled feta cheese

Italian dressing

this salad will impress and is room temperature stable for 2-3 hours
Joined Oct 31, 2012

I'm hoping you come back for the answers. Many don't . 

Anyway. How long? 

Lettuce salad of any kind won't hold up for very long at all but most others should be fine, kept on ice or otherwise cold.

Cover them with plastic wrap or damp towel, something to keep from drying out. 

Avoid leaving out predressed salads with a vinaigrette dressing. The vinegar doesn't help the salad hold well. Oil only dressed salads will hold up far longer.  

If you must have a leafy salad pre dressed, I would do it at the Very Last Minute. If that meant the guests see me do it, so be it. I'll explain the desire to give them fresh food. 
Joined Mar 25, 2017
All of the previous advice I agree with.  For larger events we like to prep the salad in a number of smaller bowls if possible.  In that manner, as soon as the salad bowl is looking a bit "messy" we simply swap it out with a new salad.  If you have the manpower/facilities you can prep them as the event progresses.
Joined Aug 3, 2017
Catering newbie here! I agree with all of the sage advice above. I also love subbing regular lettuce for cabbage in salads that I want to hold up longer. I love a mix of savoy, green and red cabbages. A go to for me is a salad I make with chunky shredded chicken, cranberries, scallion, radishes and green apple (I soak it in acidulated water to keep it from browning- vitamin c powder is cheap in bulk and works well for this). I serve it with my poppy seed dressing. You can nix the chicken to make it a side salad. It's very simple, holds up very well and the two times I've served it I was surprised how quickly it went. (I used three smaller bowls and refreshed them as needed just like jeffcaters recommends.)
Joined Mar 3, 2016
German style potato salad
Pasta salad
Any leaf green salads aren't too hard to keep fresh, but as mentioned, keep the dressing in a separate bottle next to the bowl, and keep replenishing small bowls as you go.
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