This is a great time of year in Phoenix for growing backyard vegetables, especially garden lettuces. And there’s nothing like starting a meal with delicious homegrown salad greens dressed in a tasty light citrus vinaigrette. I’m fortunate to have a year-round vegetable garden in my backyard, and because I also have over 40 citrus trees on my property, I try to come up with ways to use citrus in my recipes. If you don’t have a backyard vegetable garden or pots where you can harvest greens, choose a mix of organic greens from a farmers market or your local grocery store and include a variety of lettuces such as bibb, arugula and red and green leaf.

fresh saladServes 4

4 cups salad greens
½ cucumber, peeled and sliced thin
1-1/2 cups multicolored Heirloom tomatoes, cut up

For the dressing

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small shallot, minced
1 large garlic clove, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste

Greens from my garden

Greens from my garden

Wash the lettuce leaves thoroughly, tear into bite-sized pieces, and spin dry in a salad spinner. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and blend together using a wire whisk.

Dress the salad immediately before serving to avoid wilting, tossing gently to make sure all the leaves are glistening.

I hope you enjoy this family-favorite salad that’s easy to make and sure to please even your fussiest guests!

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