A salad is a dish comprising cold
vegetables, legume or meat and fish topped with a dressing.
Typically, most salads are cold, but there are exceptions and
the German potato salad is one such, which is served hot. The
different varieties (types) of salads include vegetable salads;
salads of pasta, legumes, or grains; mixed salads incorporating
meat, poultry, or seafood; and fruit salads.
Wild greens and herbs, seasoned with salt, was the
earliest form of salad that was created to appease man's palate.
The fresh lot of greens and green vegetables that appeared after
the dull winter were used to create the salad. Different kinds
of lettuce, garden cress and watercress, cabbage, spinach and
fresh herbs (primarily most kinds of leafy vegetables) were used
in combination with raw or cooked vegetables such as tomatoes,
onions, cucumbers, peppers, beets and so on to make fresh green
salad. Vegetable salads may be left to marinate or may have a
topping of sauces. Tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, beets,
mushrooms, cole slaw (made from shredded or chopped cabbage with
a mayonnaise or vinegar-based dressing) are some of the commonly
used salad items.
Mayonnaise is a cold sauce of French origin. It is an emulsion of
raw egg yolks and vegetable oil. Plain mayonnaise is flavored with
lemon juice, mustard, or vinegar. Salade russe comprises of a
variety of chopped cooked vegetables and potatoes bound with
The French used to add dry bread rubbed with garlic to
add flavor to the salad. Another variation of the
green salad is the Caesar salad. The Caesar salad was
invented in Mexico in the nineteen twenties. It was a
green salad of romaine (cos lettuce), with a dressing
of pounded anchovies (small fishes), olive oil, lemon
juice, egg and cheese, garnished with croutons.
In the Middle East, salads made of pureed or finely
chopped cucumbers, eggplants or chickpeas and mixed
with yoghurt were popular.
Although salads were eaten before the main course,
they take the place of cold vegetable or side dishes
in many regions. Salads based on rice, pasta,
potatoes, dried beans, cracked wheat or other starches
are served instead of a cold vegetable dish in the
main meal. Sometimes these mixed salads were
substituted for light meals, more so when meat,
poultry, seafood, eggs or cheese are added to it.
Some salad dressings
Mixtures of oil and vinegar in the proportion of three
to one were the simplest salad dressings in the early
times. The mixture was usually topped off with a dash
of salt and pepper, herbs, and frequently Dijon
mustard. Creamy dressings included mayonnaise, sweet
or sour cream, or a cooked sauce containing eggs,
flour, milk, or cream, which were seasoned with
crumbled cheese; green onions, garlic, anchovy paste,
Broccoli salad, chicken salad, pasta salad, potato
salad, fruit salad, Caesar Salad, Russian Salad, Macaroni Salad,
Tuna Salad, Waldorf Salad, 7 layer Salad, Spinach
Salad and Tossed Salad are very popular. People throng
to a salad restaurant and soup and salad joints to
enjoy this health food.