This may sound a bit strange but it's something I have been struggling with. You see, as far as I've attempted to answer this question, it has only resulted in unsatisfactory answers. It's a pretty simple question but without a pretty simple answer. That is to say, What makes a salad a salad? What makes something not a salad and by what process can salad become a not-salad?
As far as I can tell, Americans name food to make it appear as if they are eating healthy. Thus the classification of Salad was born. Let's face it, there's nothing healthy about certain types of salads. Do I even need to mention the classic taco salad?
So it begs the question on when a salad is no longer a salad. One clue would be if it's baked. At which point it is no longer a salad and becomes a casserole. In general, a salad should consist of leafs like lettuce, spinach and what not with just a little dressing on it. Olive oil or Vinegar would suffice for this. You may want to toss in some cut up tomatoes, onions, avocado or peppers into the mix. And then adding old bread crumbs called croutons can liven up your cow meal.
Though once you start putting meats in there you're bordering on the "salad in name alone" turf. But then, if that's what is a salad, why do they call it Tuna Salad? How about fruit salad? Even if Tuna salad falls in the field of salads that consists of two parts miracle whip and one part other things.
A fun fact that seldom few take advantage of is that mayo is pretty easy. And yet a lot of people for some reason don't think mayonnaise is something that you can actually make yourself in the course of about ten minutes time. It requires no voodoo magic of any sort, I promise.
Anyhow, my favorite salads are cobb and wedge salad. Which when you think of it, is the laziest salad you could possibly ever make. It's a wedge slice topped with unhealthy amounts of blue cheese, bacon and tomatoes. But again, that doesn't answer what a salad really is.
You do have to believe me though, salads are actually a real thing. It's just that people often attempt to make salads fit within their preconceived notions regarding food by way of tacos and ranch dressing rather than accepting the idea of salad for what it is, if you want salad as a salad rather than a salad as an impossible and personally conceived food-idea, you'll be much happier, if you think about it.
Or maybe salad is just a soup that is less wet...