The way it works is I pick a few items from each of the different categories in constructing grocery lists for the salad, which provides enough variety from week to week. This chart is printed out and on my fridge.
- If my chosen green is something like kale, then I'll mix it all together, but if there are more delicate items, I might keep those separate and construct right before eating.
- I have a large stainless steel bowl and set of tongs for tossing the salad with dressing, which is then decanted into the white shallow bowl-like plate. I learned this from a local salad restaurant, because while it's an extra bowl to wash, it gives you enough room to mix everything together but eating from a separate, smaller bowl/plate feels luxurious, rather than just eating from a giant mixing bowl.
- Some more tips on constructing salad on Serious Eats.