Sark salad

dr bob never could have imagined how marrying into an immigrant family of Lebanese Armenians (or is it Armenian Lebanese?) could make up for being a poor white kid born in a small rural village in New York State in the food desert of the 1950s. Chicken pot pies, tuna helper, Chef Boyardee, Scooter pies, frequent meat-potatoes-frozen-veggie meals, iced Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines box cakes lunch and dinner, salt-laden Campbell's soup most lunches, never met an artichoke or asparagus or cheesecake, avocados? what was that?, the list could go on indefinitely. War is a terrible thing, but it moves people, literally, to uproot their families and seek a better life for their kids. And their food comes along for the ride.

We haven't used a store-bought salad dressing EVER that bob can recall. It just takes a minute or two to whip up the traditional oil garlic and lemon dressing the Sarkahians have been using ever since bob joined the family. Over the years we did progress from iceberg to romaine lettuce, and in the dr bob kitchen (where ms ani rules, bob just does PR), often arugula now. bob introduced the avocado to the mix and won over the rest of the gang. We are avocado addicts, and have appreciated the avocado toast craze that has swept the globe lately (at least in the US and one tourist serving restaurant in Rome).

Lacking a real mortar and pestle, bob grinds garlic clove into the salad dressing ingredients with a wooden pestle in an Old Town Blue Corelleware bowl to infuse the oil and lemon mix with our favorite member of the extended onion family, reportedly effective against vampires as well.

As for the title of this unnamed recipe, only bob uses the term "Sark". We Americans like to abbreviate names for some reason. Like bob for Robert, although it is somewhat unclear how this came about but at least they have 2 letters in common. And the repeated S makes a nice alliteration (repeated first letters) with better rhythm with the shortened family name.

An astute reader will notice that there are no amounts below. They are all left up to the user "to taste". We have two sizes. Salad for two or three and salad for an extended family meal which is an integral part of the immigrant experience here in the USA.


some lettuce (chopped) or arugula
chopped tomatoes or cutup grape tomatoes (halved, thirded(?) or quartered according to size and whimsy)
small cucumbers, sliced cross-ways
fresh avocado, chopped
optional: sweet pepper, chopped; hearts of palm; mixed canned beans; pomegranate seeds; whatever
EEVO extra virgin olive oil, higher quality
lemon juice, freshly squeezed or from a yellow squeeze bottle
freshly ground black pepper
salt (we use Trocomare)
freshly pressed garlic clove (ani wants only half, bob would go for a whole)
optional: Aleppo red pepper


  1. Prep all the veggies, cleaning and chopping and slicing up, tossing them in an appropriately sized bowl.
  2. Pour some EVOO into your mortar substitute bowl (who has these anyway?) and add some lemon juice (bob is lazy and goes for the yellow squeeze bottle, ani is more traditional and insists on the real lemon) and the rest of the dressing stuff above.
  3. Grind it all together 10-20 seconds or so.
  4. Pour over the roughage and mix together when ready to serve. Or a bit before to let the flavors meld together.


  1. Trocamare from A Vogel: natural fine sea salt infused with organic herbs and vegetables.
  2. Aleppo red pepper. Isgouhi grew up in Aleppo. Not sure how the red pepper is associated with the city.
  3. PR = "public relations" (translation for international friends).
  4. We use the same salad dressing in other contexts, like recipe ready simple beet salad. Simply served with this easy dressing and fresh parsley.
  5. Illustrations available.
sarksalad.htm: 11-dec-2020 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]