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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, sausage.)

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. Salads of this kind include egg, chicken, tuna, shrimp, and ham 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 cucumber, peppers, mushroom, onion, spring onion, carrot and radish. Other food items such as pasta, olives, rice, croutons, meat (e.g. bacon, chicken), cheese, or fish (e.g. tuna) are sometimes added to salads.

Other types of salads

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, and in fact salads, cooked and raw, included many ingredients that would be "gourmet" today: lovage, burnet, sorrel.


This article is based heavily on the Wikipedia entry for "Salad," which can be found at