I recently visited Nashville and happened to stop in at a chain called Jim ‘n Nick’s BBQ. I had been told that their “Pig in the Garden” salad was outstanding, and although I usually like my pulled pork in sandwich form, I went with the recommendation. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the crisp lettuce and crunchy almonds were the perfect complement to the pulled pork, and the use of both salad dressing and barbecue sauce bordered on ingenious. Of course, it didn’t hurt that there was also bacon involved. Shortly after returning home, I set about attempting to recreate this salad, and I’m pleased to report that this homemade version is not only delicious but also simple to make. My rendition omits croutons (because I’m not really a fan) and grape tomatoes (because they’re not in season), but feel free to include these to be truer to the original.
Pig in the Garden Salad
Yield: 2 entrees or 4 appetizers
- 1/2 lb lettuce or greens, torn or roughly chopped*
- 1/2 lb pulled pork
- 1 medium cucumber, sliced into half moons
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1/4 cup almonds, peeled and chopped**
- 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
- barbecue sauce
- salad dressing of choice***
*I used romaine hearts, but I think spinach or mixed greens would also work well.
**To peel almonds, blanch in boiling water for 1 minute, then rub off the skins.
***I made a simple vinaigrette (okay, with some bacon fat tossed in).
- Divide between two (or four) bowls 1/2 lb lettuce or greens, torn or roughly chopped, then top with 1/2 lb pulled pork, 1 medium cucumber, sliced into half moons, 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, 1/4 cup almonds, peeled and chopped, and 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese.
- Serve with barbecue sauce and your salad dressing of choice.