I’m always a little shocked when people say they’re bored with salads.

Probe a little deeper, and you’ll find they generally define “salad” as a bowl of torn-up iceberg lettuce with a few shredded carrots tossed on top.

I’d be bored, too, if I was stuck eating that flavor-challenged combo each day.

As demonstrated in yesterday’s recipe for Tomato and Onion Salad, lettuce is not an obligatory salad component. The fun actually starts when you incorporate more colorful organic veggies.

Dana Jacobi, who created yesterday’s recipe, agrees. The author of the 12 Best Foods Cookbook and a contributor to the New American Plate Cookbook: Recipes for a Healthy Weight and a Healthy Life prefers salads that feature “more substantial and assertively flavored greens like arugula, spinach and escarole.”

She recommends salads with chunks of chew-worthy raw and roasted vegetables, such as raw sweet bell peppers and whole small tomatoes coupled with roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, asparagus and broccoli—definitely not boring!

Plum tomatoes are one of Jacobi’s favorites.

“Their meaty flesh is always firm, and if you let them sit until they turn a rich, dark red, which takes several days, you will be rewarded with plum tomatoes that taste much better,” she says. “Interestingly, doing this also means you’ll get more lycopene—a health-enhancing carotenoid that helps make tomatoes red.”

Raw onions are “a smart choice during flu season, thanks to their antibacterial benefits,” she adds. “Soaking slices in cold water makes raw onions more palatable, but can take an hour or more. Instead, I find that plunging them into boiling water for one minute has the same flavor-taming effect, while leaving the onions pleasantly tender-crisp.”

Just say no to boring salads!

Bonus recipe: Valentine Salad (see photo, above).

Photo courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research