It is my understanding that this is common in Europe. I'm used to eating the salad first but this causes a problem with some home cooked meals. I'm thinking of entrees that need several minutes of last minute cooking and plating but also need to be served piping hot.
For example, we are planning Red Snapper Meuniere tomorrow night. The fish and sauce will not take long at all to cook but I'm not sure that I want to eat my salad first and then cook the fish. On the other hand I can prep all the salad, make the dressing and put it all in the refrigerator. After we eat our fish it will only take a minute to toss the salad.
Also, another alternative is to do as my mom did and serve the salad along with everything else as a side dish.
How do you handle this?