A traditional side dish for many meals, salad comes in many different varieties both simple and complex. The salad originates from ancient Greece, who ate mixed greens with dressing, although precisely what the dressing constituted of is subject to debate amongst food historians.
In English, the first time the word salad appears has been traced to the 14th century, with “sal” coming from the word salt, as during the Roman era, the vegetables were commonly seasoned with brine or a salty and oily dressing. Although tastes have changed since then, plain salads with a small amount of vinaigrette dressing remain very popular.
The oil used on salads can be traced back to at least the 17th-century colonies in America, with the province of New Netherland being well known for using oil on their salads. This trend has continued through to today, with many restaurants offering salads with oil as a side dish or a starter.
Many chefs have chosen to take salads to the next level in their restaurants, creating complicated recipes which have a lot of flavours, and are not designed to be a simple side dish, but a course in their own right.