What I Do With Garden Lettuce

It’s summertime and my staple ingredients now come from my roof—instead of my pantry—where beautiful lettuce grows in our garden. I made a favorite salad to share at a friend’s house last weekend and received so many compliments and requests that my friend Julie asked me to post the recipe here.

I cannot receive credit for this clever combination of ingredients since I copied it from another friend at a similar gathering more than a decade ago who had copied it from her friend. That’s how all the good recipes get passed around anyway, right? I did personalize it with our own garden lettuce, though. If you’ve never had jicama, this fresh summer salad will introduce you to its crisp and slightly sweet character.

Glazed Almond and Orange Salad

4 ounces slivered almonds
3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon dry Italian dressing mix
½ tablespoon grated orange rind
2 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup orange juice concentrate
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil

2 heads dark lettuce (I used garden lettuce mixed with green leaf lettuce)
1 jicama, julienned
1-2 cans mandarin oranges, drained

First. Heat the almonds and the sugar in a small skillet over medium-high heat until carmelized. Spread out on wax paper to cool.

Second. Make the dressing by mixing the dry Italian dressing mix, the orange rind and the sugar. Add the red wine vinegar first and then the orange juice concentrate. Whisk in the olive oil or shake until combined.

Third. Wash, dry and break up the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and add to a large salad bowl. (I use my big Tupperware one with a lid to mix the salad and then pour it into a pretty bowl afterwards.) Julienne the jicama and add to the salad. Drain and add the mandarin oranges.

Finally, break apart the glazed almonds and sprinkle over the top of the salad. Just before serving, pour on all the dressing and toss the salad with tongs or cover the bowl with a lid and shake.


  1. munchkinsandmusic
    Aug 8, 2008

    Anything orange I love. And fresh salad?? Love that too! If I only had a garden…hopefully sometime!

  2. Mozi Esme's Mommy
    Aug 8, 2008

    Lettuce on the roof – sounds like a useful rooftop! And I love jicama – with fresh lettuce that salad should be wonderful . . .

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