If you are trying to add a bit of "panache" to a meal a salad is ideal. Remember, substance is not required to make a meal seem high-toned. It is the variety and number of courses that count. That is precisely why salad can be such a handy dish when company is served. It allows you to put another bowl on the table without worrying that the extra food is going to dampen anyone's appetite for the real food that will soon be coming along in the form of the entree.
Of course, there are leafy salads like the one described above, but there are also salads appropriate to other occasions. Summertime calls for cucumber salad. Some would argue that there are other salads more associated with summer. Sure potato salad and fruit salad conjure up images of fried chicken at the park by the beach with sand gritting your teeth. However, there is nothing like a good cucumber salad to whet the appetite just before you flop into a hammock with a beer in one hand and a transistor radio playing a ball game in the other and a plate of steak fresh from the grill balancing on your stomach.