Setting a salad bar for a wedding requires a little planning not only for the foods you would like to have, but also for how the buffet should be set up to efficiently move guests through the line. That said, some couples opt for buffet receptions to facilitate easier preparation and cleanup. With some basic guidelines, your salad bar buffet can accommodate guests of all ages and diets.
Set up the buffet in a T shape, with plates, tableware and napkins at head of the T. This will allow guests to get to move through the buffet line from both sides of the buffet table. Put two sets of serving utensils on each part of the salad bar so guests on opposite sides of the bar can both add the same items to their plates without having to wait.
Line the buffet with ice to keep the food fresh for a longer period of time. Place the ice in large foil pans that set on the buffet itself. Your salad bar items will be put in serving bowls and serving pans that go on top of the ice.
Serve a variety of greens. While most guests will be fine with iceberg lettuce, adding spinach or even dandelion greens will be a special treat for those who prefer something different.
Provide plenty of salad toppings. Foods such as shredded carrots and hard-boiled eggs are expected. In addition, provide olives, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, shredded cheese, kidney beans, peas and other vegetables.
Serve a variety of salad dressings, such as ranch, French, Thousand Island, honey mustard and raspberry vinaigrette. Serve low-calorie options for guests who are dieting. Light dressings are readily available and oil and vinegar is a timeless option.
Provide some basic salad meats, such as cubed turkey, ham and chicken. For added pizzazz, put out tuna and even pepperoni slices.
Serve other salads beyond greens. Potato salads, pasta salads, bean salads and fruit salads are all viable options. You can even sweeten things up with Waldorf salad or Russian salad.
Provide fruit. Kids, especially, love fruit. Avoid syrupy canned fruits, though, and opt for fresh fruits, such as strawberries, pineapple, grapes and melon slices.
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Geoff Hineman has been a professional writer since 2001. His work has appeared in Dodge Magazine, The Ann Arbor Paper and online. Hineman holds a Master of Arts in writing from Northern Michigan University.