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A salad is a dish consisting of small pieces of food, which may be mixed with a sauce or salad dressing. Salads can incorporate a wide variety of foods including vegetables, fruits, and cooked meat, eggs, and grains. Garden salads use a base of leafy greens; they are common enough that the word salad alone often refers specifically to garden salads. Other types include bean salad, tuna salad, fattoush, Greek salad, and somen salad.
The sauce used to a flavour a salad is commonly called a salad dressing; well-known types include ranch, Thousand Island, and vinaigrette.
Most salads are served cold, although some, such as south German potato salad, are served warm. Some consider the warmth of a dish a factor that excludes it from the salad category calling the warm mixture a casserole, a sandwich topping or more specifically, name it for the ingredients which comprise it.
Salads may be served at any point during a meal, such as:
The word "salad" comes from the French salade of the same meaning, from the Latin salata (salty), from sal (salt). In English, the word first appears as "salad" or "sallet" in the 14th century.
Salt is associated with salad because vegetables were seasoned with brine or salty oil-and-vinegar dressings during Roman times.
The phrase "salad days", meaning a "time of youthful inexperience" (on notion of "green"), is first recorded by Shakespeare in 1606, while the use of salad bar first appeared in American English in 1976.
The Romans and ancient Greeks ate mixed greens with dressing. In his 1699 book, Acetaria: A Discourse on Sallets, John Evelyn attempted with little success to encourage his fellow Britons to eat fresh salad greens. Mary, Queen of Scots, ate boiled celery root over greens covered with creamy mustard dressing, truffles, chervil, and slices of hard-boiled eggs.
The United States popularized mixed greens salads in the late 19th century. Salads including layered and dressed salads were popular in Europe since Greek imperial and particularly Roman imperial expansions. Several other regions of the world adopted salads throughout the second half of the 20th century. From Europe and the Americas to China, Japan, and Australia, salads are sold in supermarkets, at restaurants and at fast food chains. In the US market, restaurants will often have a "Salad Bar" laid out with salad-making ingredients, which the customers will use to put together their salad.
TYPES OF SALADS
The green salad or garden salad is most often composed of leafy vegetables such as lettuce varieties, spinach, or rocket (arugula). Due to their low caloric density, green salads are considered a common diet food. The salad leaves may be cut or torn into bite-sized fragments and tossed together (called a tossed salad), or may be placed in a predetermined arrangement (a composed salad). They are often adorned with garnishes such as nuts or croutons.
A "bound" salad can be composed (arranged) or tossed (put in a bowl and mixed with a thick dressing). They are assembled with thick sauces such as mayonnaise. One portion of a true bound salad will hold its shape when placed on a plate with an ice-cream scoop. Examples of bound salad include tuna salad, pasta salad, chicken salad, egg salad, and potato salad.
Bound salads are often used as sandwich fillings. They are popular at picnics and barbecues, because they can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.
Main course salads
EXAMPLES OF SALADS
The following is a list of salads:
Sauces for salads are often called "dressings". The concept of salad dressing varies across cultures.
In Western culture, there are two basic types of salad dressing:
Vinaigrette is a mixture (emulsion) of salad oil and vinegar, often flavoured with herbs, spices, salt, pepper, sugar, and other ingredients. It is also used as a sauce or marinade.
In North America, mayonnaise-based Ranch dressing is most popular, with vinaigrettes and Caesar-style dressing following close behind. Traditional dressings in France are vinaigrettes, typically mustard-based, while sour cream (smetana) and mayonnaise are predominant in eastern European countries and Russia. In Denmark, dressings are often based on crème fraîche. In southern Europe, salad is generally dressed by the diner with oil and vinegar.
In Asia, it is common to add sesame oil, fish sauce, citrus juice, or soy sauce to salad dressings.
The following are examples of common salad dressings:
TOPPINGS AND GARNISHES
Popular salad garnishes are nuts, croutons, anchovies, bacon bits (real or imitation), garden beet, bell peppers, shredded carrots, diced celery, watercress, sliced cucumber, parsley, sliced mushrooms, sliced red onion, radish, french fries, sunflower seeds (shelled), real or artificial crab meat (surimi) and cherry tomatoes. Various cheeses, berries, seeds and other ingredients can also be added to green salads. Cheeses, in the form of cubes, crumbles, or grated, are often used, including blue cheese, Parmesan cheese, and feta cheese. Colour considerations are sometimes addressed by using edible flowers, red radishes, carrots, various colours of peppers, and other colourful ingredients.
The moshav (agricultural village) of Sde Warburg, Israel, holds the Guinness World Record for the largest lettuce salad, weighing 10,260 kg (11.3 short tons). The event, held on 10 November 2007, was part of the 70th anniversary celebration of the founding of the moshav. The salad was sold to participants and onlookers alike for 10 NIS per bowl, raising 100,000 NIS (over $25,000) to benefit Aleh Negev, a rehabilitative village for young adults suffering from severe physical and cognitive disabilities. Major General (Res.) Doron Almog, Chairman of Aleh Negev was present to accept the donation and commended the residents, who had grown the lettuce and prepared the salad on the moshav. The volunteer effort to prepare the salad itself took all day and most of the residents, ranging from many of the original founders of the moshav to young children, participated.
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