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an attractive salad

"My salad days, When I was green in judgement..."
—Cleopatra, in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, 1606

A salad is a food item generally served either before or after the main dish as a separate course, as a main course in itself, or as a side dish accompanying the main dish. The word "salad" comes from the French salade of the same meaning, from the Latin salata, "salty", from sal, "salt". (See also sauce, salsa.)

Salad also commonly refers to a blended food item— often meat, seafood or eggs blended with mayonnaise, finely chopped vegetables and seasonings— which can be served as part of a green salad, but is often used as a sandwich filling. Salads of this kind include egg, chicken, tuna, shrimp, and ham salad.

In Denmark salad also refers to a blend of vegetables in a dressing used as a condiment on top of the famous Danish open sandwich, smrrebrd, and with meats. Examples include cucumber salad, horseradish salad, Italian salad (a mixture of vegetables in a creme fraiche/mayonnaise dressing, served on ham), and Russian salad (a red beet salad).


The green salad

The "green salad" is most often composed of a mixture of uncooked vegetables, built up on a base of leaf vegetables such as one or more lettuce varieties, dandelion, spinach, or arugula.

Other common vegetables in a green salad include tomato, cucumber, peppers, mushroom, onion, spring onion, carrot and radish. Other food items such as pasta, olives, cooked potatoes, rice, croutons, meat (e.g. bacon, chicken), cheese, or fish (e.g. tuna) are sometimes added to salads.

Types of green salad

Salad dressings

A green salad is often served with a dressing. Some examples include:

Other types of salads

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Some salads are based on food items other than fresh vegetables:


In the Middle Ages, after a long winter of salted meats and pickled vegetables, people would be "salt-sick" and starving for spring greens. A pregnant wife's yearning for rapunzel growing in the garden next door inspired the fairy tale of Rapunzel. Popular history asserts that peasants ate more salads than lords, and were the healthier for it, but in fact salads, cooked and raw, included many ingredients that would be "gourmet" today: lovage, burnet, sorrel.

The diarist John Evelyn wrote a book on salads, Acetaria: A Discourse on Sallets (published in 1699), that describes the new salad greens coming out of Italy (like "sellery" (celery)) and Holland.

External links


es:Ensalada fr:Salade (mets) ja:サラダ nl:Salade pl:sałatka zh:沙律


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