Thinking about cookout sides is fun in May, when the baked beans and tater salad are new, and it’s easy in June and July, when the sweet corn and tomatoes are in, but by August … I’m usually ready to settle for a bag of chips.

That’s when I like to tune in to our local noon shows and see what everyone else is cooking.

A few weeks ago, I saw Lynne Tolley, of Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House in Lynchburg, make this Orange Pecan Salad on “Talk of the Town.” A big bowl full of lettuce and spinach tossed with juicy orange segments, crunchy buttered nuts, thinly sliced red onions and a homemade vinaigrette that she shook up in a jelly jar.

It spoke to me.

I jotted down the recipe on the back of an old bank statement, ran to the grocery, and made this salad for supper that night. It was delicious with our grilled pork chops, but it’d be delicious with just about anything. Except maybe hot dogs. If you’re having hot dogs this weekend, go for the chips.

Orange Pecan Salad

From Lynne Tolley of Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House (via “Talk of the Town” on NewsChannel 5 WTVF)

    For Salad:

  • 3 heads Bibb lettuce, cleaned and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, cleaned and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 3 oranges, peeled, sectioned, and seeded
  • 3/4 medium red onions, sliced and separated into rings
  • 3/4 cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons butter
    For Dressing:

  • ¬†3/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 3/4 sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  1. Combine the lettuce, spinach, oranges and onion in a large bowl.
  2. In a small skillet, melt butter and sauté nuts until lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the nuts over the lettuce mixture.
  4. To Make Dressing: Combine all the dressing ingredients in a jar, and shake well.
  5. Right before serving, pour enough dressing over your salad ingredients to slightly moisten. (Any extra dressing keeps well in the refrigerator.)