This section is from the book "Elements Of The Theory And Practice Of Cookery", by Mary E. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Elements Of The Theory And Practice Of Cookery; A Textbook Of Domestic Science For Use In Schools.
The salad, or "salet," of olden times was always a dish of green herbs dressed with vinegar and other condiments.
Lettuce is still eaten by some people with vinegar and sugar.
But the salad of to-day, while it always includes some green vegetable, either cooked or raw, may include almost any other food. Chicken, lobster, hard-boiled eggs, many kinds of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and cheese, are among the materials most often served in salad form. Lettuce is served alone or as a bed for these other ingredients. The dressing usually contains oil, butter, or cream. Romaine, chicory, endive, cress, and other edible leaves, are used as lettuce is. Olive-oil, peanut-oil, or the best grade of cottonseed oil may be used in salad dressings. (See Vegetable fats and oils, p. 213.)