A salad is a dish consisting of a mixture of small pieces of food, usually vegetables. However, different varieties of salad may contain virtually any type of ready-to-eat food. Salads are typically served at room temperature or chilled, with notable exceptions such as south German potato salad which is served warm.
The word "salad" comes from the Frenchsalade of the same meaning, from the Latinsalata (salty), from sal (salt). In English, the word first appears as "salad" or "sallet" in the 14th century. Salt is associated with salad because vegetables were seasoned with brine or salty oil-and-vinegar dressings during Roman times.
The phrase "salad days", meaning a "time of youthful inexperience" (based on the notion of "green"), is first recorded by Shakespeare in 1606, while the use of salad bar, referring to a buffet-style serving of salad ingredients, first appeared in American English in 1976.