Served after the main meal is done, salad is thought to assist in the digestion of food. While in Paris, I had many salads served as a main course to accommodate the tourist and busy Parisian worker stopping mid-day for the main meal of the day. Growing up though, salad at home was always a side dish, almost always served with some form of vinaigrette that was made just before the lettuce leaves went into the bowl.
The salads I’m listing here are the ones I enjoyed as a child. Salads celebrate the best the garden or the open market has to offer in that season. Nothing is taboo for a great salad as long as the vegetables pair well together.