dish consisting of a mixture of small pieces of food, usually vegetables or fruit

A salad is a dish consisting of mixed ingredients, frequently vegetables. They are typically served chilled or at room temperature, though some can be served warm. Condiments and salad dressings, which exist in a variety of flavours, are often used to enhance a salad.

Oh, herbaceous treat!
    —Sydney Smith
Lettuce is like conversation: it must be fresh and crisp, and so sparkling that you scarcely notice the bitter in it
    —C. D. Warner

Garden salads use a base of leafy greens such as lettuce, arugula or rocket, kale or spinach; they are common enough that the word salad alone often refers specifically to garden salads. Other types include bean salad, tuna salad, bread salad (such as fattoush, panzanella), vegetable salads without leafy greens (such as Greek salad, potato salad, coleslaw), rice-, pasta- and noodle-based salads, fruit salads and desserts.

Quotes edit

  • Rabbit food
    • The OED's earliest evidence for this phrase is from 1772, in the writing of Arthur Young
  • On twigs of hawthorn he regaled,
      On pippins’ russet peel;
    And, when his juicy salads failed,
      Sliced carrot pleased him well.
    • William Cowper, "Epitaph on a Hare"
    • The Gentleman's Magazine (December 1784)

A Commonplace Book of Cookery edit

Quotes reported in: Robert Grabhorn, ed., A Commonplace Book of Cookery (North Point Press, 1985), pp. 77–82
  • Claudere quae cœnas Lactuca solebat avorum
    Dic mihi cur nostras inchoat illa dapes?
  • The Sallet, which of old came in last,
    Why now with it begin we our repast?
  • But there now starts up a Question, Whether it were better, or more proper, to Begin with Sallets, or End and Conclude with them? Some think the harder Meats should first be eaten for better Concoction; others, those of easiest Digestion, to make way, and prevent Obstruction; and this makes for our Sallets, Horarii, and Fugaces Fructus (as they call 'em) to be eaten first of all, as agreeable to the general Opinion of the great Hippocrates, and Galen, and of Celsus before him. ... But of later Times, they were constant at the Ante-cœnia, eating plentifully of Sallet, especially of Lettuce, and more refrigerating Herbs. Nor without Cause: For drinking liberally they were found to expell, and allay the Fumes and Vapors of the genial Compotation, the spirituous Liquor gently conciliating Sleep: Besides, that being of a crude nature, more dispos'd, and apt to fluctuate, corrupt, and disturb a surcharg'd Stomach; they thought convenient to begin with Sallets, and innovate the ancient Usage. ...
    The Spaniards, notwithstanding, eat but sparingly of Herbs at Dinner, especially Lettuce, beginning with Fruit, even before the Olio and Hot-Meats come to the Table; ...
  • What is more refreshing than salads when your appetite seems to have deserted you, or even after a capacious dinner—the nice, fresh green, and crisp salad, full of life and health, which seems to invigorate the palate and dispose the masticating powers to a much longer duration. The herbaceous plants which exist fit for food for man, are more numerous than may be imagined, and when we reflect how many of these, for want of knowledge, are allowed to rot and decompose in the fields and gardens, we ought, without loss of time, to make ourselves acquainted with their different natures and forms, and vary our food as the season changes.
    Although nature has provided all these different herbs and plants as food for man at various periods of the year, and perhaps at one period more abundant than another, when there are so many ready to assist in purifying and cleansing the blood, yet it would be advisable to grow some at other seasons, in order that the health may be properly nourished.
  • The salad—for which, like everybody else I ever met, he had a special receipt of his own.
  • Sallets in general consist of certain Esculent Plants and Herbs, improv'd by Culture, Industry, and Art of the Gard'ner: Or, as others say, they are a Composition of Edule Plants and Roots of several kinds, to be eaten Raw or Green, Blanch'd or Candied: simple—and per se, or intermingl'd with others according to the Season. The Boil'd, Bak'd, Pickl'd, or otherwise disguis'd, variously accommodated by the skilful Cooks, to render them grateful to the more feminine Palat, or Herbs rather for the Pot, &c. challenge not the name of Sallet so properly here, tho' sometimes mention'd; And therefore,
    Those who Criticize not so nicely upon the Word, seem to distinguish the Olera (which were never eaten Raw) from Acetaria, which were never Boil'd; ...
    A great deal more of this Learned Stuff were to be pick'd up from the Cumini Sectores, and impertinently Curious; whilst as it concerns the business in hand, we are by Sallet to understand a particular Composition of certain Crude and fresh Herbs, such as usually are, or may safely be eaten with some Acetous Juice, Oyl, Salt, &c. to give them a grateful Gust and Vehicle; ... But of this enough, and perhaps too much; least whilst I write of Salt and Sallet, I appear my self Insipid: ...
    • John Evelyn, Acetaria (1699)
  • Take endive ... like love it is bitter;
      Take beet ... like love it is red;
    Crisp leaf of the lettuce shall glitter,
      And cress from the rivulet's bed;
    Anchovies foam-born, like the Lady
      Whose beauty has maddened this bard;
    And olives, from groves that are shady;
      And eggs—boil 'em hard.
  • According to the Spanish proverb, four persons are wanted to make a good salad: a spendthrift for oil, a miser for vinegar, a counsellor for salt, and a madman to stir all up.
  • Oh, green and glorious! Oh, herbaceous treat!
    'Twould tempt the dying anchorite to eat;
    Back to the world he'd turn his fleeting soul,
    And plunge his fingers in the salad-bowl!
    Serenely full, the epicure would say,
    Fate cannot harm me, I have dined today.
  • He that sups upon salad, goes not to bed fasting.
    • Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia (1732)
  • A sallet without wine is raw, unwholesome, dangerous.
    • Randle Cotgrave, French-English Dictionary (1611)
  • For if on Wine you Lettuce eat,
    It floats upon the stomach—
  • Lettuce cooleth the heat of the stomacke, called the heart-burning; and helpeth it when it is troubled with choler: it quenches thirst and causeth sleepe. Lettuce maketh a pleasant sallad, being eaten raw with vinegar, oile, and a little salt: but if it be boiled it is sooner digested, and nourisheth more.
    • John Gerard, Herball
  • Lettuce: It is of all herbs, the best and wholesomest for the hot seasons, for young men, and them that abound with choler, and also for the sanguine, and such as have hot stomachs.
    • Tobias Venner, Via Recta ad vitam longam
  • Lettuce is like conversation: it must be fresh and crisp, and so sparkling that you scarcely notice the bitter in it.
  • It is said that the effect of eating too much lettuce is "soporific."
  • A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out as good for nothing.

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