The root of the word “salad” is sal, or salt and dates in this form from the 14th century, right around the time that the piquant seasoning of the southern Latinate languages had blended with the old native Northern European ones to form a pleasing effect on the tongue. Salads then were vegetables made tastier with brine, salty water.
Salads today encompass a wide variety of foods, with anything that consists of a mix of ingredients combined with a dressing of some sort. Salads no longer have to be green, though the word has become synonymous with leafy greens eaten raw, such as lettuce, spinach, arugula, watercress etc.
Shakespeare has Cleopatra musing to Caesar (that other salad) on her misbegotten youth by saying “…my salad days, / When I was green in judgment, cold in blood…,” thereby introducing us to salad as metaphor, inexperience being, like young shoots (and salad leaves), green.
If you happen to suffer from chlorophobia, a fear of the color green, then a nice leafy salad is probably not for you (chloro being the same root as chlorophyll, the green in leaves). In which case, you may enjoy this Ham and Frankfurter Salad, and its array of pinks enlivened by the color red, which is about as far from a green salad as one can possibly get.
Grand Diplôme Cooking Course, Vol. 13, Danbury Press, 1971