Environmental Center Garden Salad with Warm Dressing

From Back To School (On the Farm)


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Environmental Center Garden Salad with Warm Dressing

  • Author: Recipe and photo by Elizabeth Boegel
  • Yield: Serves 4–8 1x


My students are eager to harvest and eat the produce they grow, so our last half hour of class is often reserved for going out into the garden to see what’s ready to pick. We often bring the produce into our classroom kitchen to make salads to eat together as a group out in the sunshine.


Units Scale

For the mixed garden salad

  • 45 cups mixed lettuces and tender greens
  • 24 cups crunchy vegetables like peppers, green beans, carrots, beets, cabbage, celery, and cucumber, sliced or shredded

For the meats

  • 56 slices bacon, diced
  • 812 ounces chicken or other meat (raw or leftover cooked)

For the warm dressing

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Optional add-ins

  • Sunflower or pumpkin seeds or chopped walnuts, almonds, pecans, or pistachios
  • Dried cranberries, raisins, or cherries
  • Crumbled or shredded cheese like cheddar, parmesan, chevre, feta, or gorgonzola
  • Sliced hard-boiled eggs
  • Edible flowers like borage, nasturtium, and chives


Combine greens and veggies in a large bowl. Add optional adds ins, toss, and set aside.

In a large cast iron skillet, fry the bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and set aside to drain.

If you are using raw chicken or other meat, add to the hot bacon drippings and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Remove from drippings and set aside to drain. (If you are using leftover cooked meat, you could heat it up now by cooking lightly in the drippings or leave it cold.)

To the drippings, add the chopped shallot and garlic. Cook until softened and fragrant. Whisk vinegar, lemon juice, honey, and mustard into the cooked alliums and bacon drippings and cook over low heat until slightly thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Chop cooked meat and add to the salad bowl. Crumble the bacon and add to the salad bowl. Add optional seeds, nuts, dried fruits, cheese, and hard-boiled eggs. Pour warm dressing over the salad, garnish with edible flowers, and serve immediately.

  • Category: Salad