There has always been a garden in our backyard. My mom was raised in the same house we live in now, so even decades before I was born, when the house was brand new, there has been a garden. My grandpa grew potatoes, corn, tomatoes, avocados, oranges, apricots, and beans. Today we grow apricots, spinach, romaine lettuce, swiss chard, garlic, beets, onions, kale, broccoli, snap peas, green beans, tomatoes, olallaberries, lemons, oranges, tangerines, basil, cilantro, potatoes, carrots, and avocados. Needless to say, we grow a lot of our own produce in the right seasons. Right now, the lettuce, chard, kale, and broccoli are booming.
The weeds in the garden used to annoy me so much; there were so many of them and I HATED pulling weeds. I didn’t like it because I wanted perfection and didn’t want to see a single weed in the entire garden. The task was daunting, so I usually pulled weeds in maybe a two foot square area and gave up. Then one day something clicked. I realized that I don’t need to pull out all the weeds at one time. Like everything that needs fixing and adjustment, it becomes more manageable if you do it a little at a time. Now, every time I go out to pick fruits and veggies, I pull fifteen weeds or so, and toss them in the compost bin. Maintenance is always easier than overhaul.
Anywho, because our veggies are booming, we have been eating salad right out of our garden and it has been wonderful. We got a recipe for an awesome salad that we fell head over heels for probably four years ago. Since then, I can count on one hand the number of times we haven’t eaten some variation of this salad with dinner. And we have salad with dinner almost every day, for sure an average of 6 out of 7 days of the week. The dressing is homemade and simply amazing, and we have altered the recipe to our liking and to make it easier to prepare every night.
My mom was hesitant to even give me the secret recipe to post, because it is so wonderful. Caroline on Sweetly Lemon specifically asked for it, so here it is!
Roberts Family Famous Salad
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
spinach, kale, chard(whatever greens you have available), chopped
broccoli(cut into small bite sized pieces)
¼ to ½ cup red onion
a good sized handful of dried cranberries
6-10 strips of cooked bacon, diced
2 handfuls of Pita Chips, crushed
Put it all in a bowl together and wha-lah! We only have bacon in it for special occasions, and never measure any of it specifically, the measurements are just guidelines; feel free to alter them based off of how many people you are serving. Don’t put the pita chips on until the last-minute, as they will get soggy quickly and just roughly crush them in your hands and sprinkle it on top.
1 cup canola oil
½ cup sugar
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
a couple cloves of garlic, smashed(just leave them floating in the dressing container, remove it before pouring it on the salad)
We always have the dressing on hand in a protein shake type container because we use it so often. I would recommend making it in advance-it tastes way better that way.
This salad has been particularly amazing as all the produce is home-grown, straight out of the garden. I highly recommend this salad, as well as planting a garden, but the garden requires much more time and space than the salad. Happy salad making!