A salad is a food item generally served either prior to 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.”
A salad is most often composed of a mixture of uncooked vegetables, built up on a base of green leafy vegetables such as one or more lettuce varieties, dandelion, alfalfa sprouts, cabbage, spinach or arugula (rocket). This is often referred to as a “green salad.”
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 and poultry (e.g. bacon, chicken), cheese or seafood (e.g. Tuna, crab) are sometimes added to salads
Green salads include leaf lettuce and leafy vegetables with sauces or dressings. Most salads are served cold, although some, such as south German potato salad, are served warm.
Salads are generally served with a dressing, as well as various garnishes such as nuts or croutons, and sometimes with the addition of meat, fish, pasta, cheese, eggs, or whole grains.
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 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).
Vegetables other than greens may be used in a salad. Common raw vegetables used in a salad include cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, spring onions, red onions, carrots, celery, and radishes. Other ingredients, such as avocado, olives, hard boiled egg, artichoke hearts, heart of palm, roasted red bell peppers, green beans, croutons, cheeses, meat (e.g. bacon, chicken), or seafood (e.g. tuna, shrimp), are sometimes added to salads.
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 also popular at picnics and barbecues, because they can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.
Main course salads
Main course salads (also known as "dinner salads" and commonly known as "entrée salads" in North America) may contain grilled or fried chicken pieces, seafood such as grilled or fried shrimp or a fish steak such as tuna, mahi-mahi, or salmon. Sliced steak, such as sirloin or skirt, can be placed upon the salad. Caesar salad, Chef salad, Cobb salad, Greek salad, and Michigan salad are types of dinner salad.
Fruit salads are made of fruit, and include the fruit cocktail that can be made fresh or from canned fruit.
Dessert salads rarely include leafy greens and are often sweet. Common variants are made with gelatin or whipped cream; e.g. jello salad, pistachio salad, and ambrosia. Other forms of dessert salads include snickers salad, glorified rice, and cookie salad popular in parts of the Midwestern United States.
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Tuna Salad Recipe
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