Dad Salad

This recipe is so named because it was entirely a product of my dad’s garden – I didn’t realize for years that many people consider lettuce to be an essential part of the salad experience. You cannot grow lettuce in Sacramento in the summer. We’d have a bowl apiece for two or three months almost every night – this is how you stretch your food budget.

Required:
A very sharp knife
A really big bowl
Cucumbers
Bell peppers (of varying colors – yellows and reds are the same as green except they’re left on the vine longer, while special varieties, such as “chocolate”, have different flavors)
Tomatoes (homegrown or farm stand/farmer’s market—it is not worth buying tomatoes from the store)

Use as available:
Carrots
Celery
Radishes
Lettuce (yes, it’s okay to use, just not required)
Mushrooms
Peas in the pod
Sprouts
Green onion tips

Wash the vegetables and cut them into little tiny pieces. The goal here is to make it so that you can get a little bit of everything on your fork. Toss and drench with Hidden Valley Ranch made from the mix because it’s EXTREMELY different from the stuff you get in the bottle, and considerably more tasty (and runny.) Serve by the bowlful with barbecue or Italian – the cool, runny salad is a perfect counterpoint to thick sauces. Of course, it goes with just about any main dish.

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