I have been on a picket line three times in my life.

Each time I have been amazed at how quickly those oil drums used for warming fires appear - along with the porta-potties. 

Odd that employers do not realize the "dangers" of the picket line - and I am referring to the amazing bonding that can happen between colleagues. Maybe not such a good idea to facilitate forging bonds among the "us", against the "them". Suddenly everyone on the line is a "sister" or a "brother". Sooner or later food appears, followed by recipe-sharing.

This salad is a staple in the KB kitchen. It comes from and will always remind me of "Sister Laura" - and I am thankful for all the laughs we had together! So I call this "Sister Salad" - and coincidentally, it was the favourite of my sister-in-law who did not get to see Thanksgiving in 2014, but is remembered daily by those she loved. 

I use red leaf lettuce. My grocer usually sells this as two bunches tied together. Clean it all or the amount that matches your need, or the size of your salad bowl. There are never leftovers of this!  

Important to read Tips below - and note the make-ahead tips!


1/4 cup of olive oil (virgin or extra virgin – I use the latter) 
2 TB of sugar
1 TB of chopped parsley
2 TB of vinegar (nice vinegar – white wine or champagne vinegar)
1/2 tsp each salt & pepper

Mix well - I usually put it all in a jar and give it a good long shake. Refrigerate. Note - the sugar will settle at the bottom so bring to room temperature and mix/shake well again before serving time. 

The secret to a great salad = the right amount of dressing. It's hard to know how much lettuce you'll be using, so don't just dump this dressing all over it. Once you have shaken the dressing, pour over a small amount and gently mix the salad with your (clean) hands. You may find that you need only half the dressing.

1/4 - 1/2 cup of slivered almonds
1 TB (salted) butter
1 TB sugar

Toast almonds in butter/sugar mixture in a small fry pan on med high heat – watch it closely – it can burn quickly right at the last minute - do not get distracted! Once the almonds are toasty brown they need to be removed from the pan right away since they can/do continue cooking/burning. Spread them on parchment or wax paper to cool. Break the large clumps into smaller pieces for serving. This can be done the day ahead. (Make these almonds with/for kids if you are ever in need of a quick sweet treat.)

Notes and Tips...

  • Red leaf lettuce - I am not sure why, but usually this is sandy so it's important to rinse and dry the lettuce. I tear it into pieces ready for the salad.
  • Sugar - granulated sugar is fine, but if you have it on hand use super fine sugar - it mixes / dissolves more easily
  • How much - I always find it best to (gently) mix the dressing and the salad by hand - a little at a time - nothing worse than fabulous greens with too much dressing...
  • Make ahead - the day before you can clean the lettuce and store it in a covered container; the dressing and the nuts and can also be done the day before.

<== Questions or Comments about this recipe? Visit the Recipe Q. C. page - looking forward to hearing from you!