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1. A dish, usually cold, but sometimes warm, of vegetables or fruit, often served with a dressing. Fruit salads are used for desserts.
2. Any green plant (particularly lettuce varieties) or herb used for such a dish.
Strangely enough, the word comes from the Latin 'sal' - meaning salt, as in medieval times salt (as well as oil and vinegar dressings) was added to raw vegetables, citrus fruits and leaves.
More and more of our exotic lettuces come from countries such as Spain, Turkey, Zimbabwe and even Mexico. Outside the EU, pesticide laws can be much more relaxed, recent research showed that a typical lettuce crop will be sprayed 11.7 times.