WINTER HAVEN Fla. — When you want to figure out what children will eat, why not go to the experts? The Legoland Florida Resort Executive Chef Jose Aleman offers its Pirate Salad, along with a poppy seed dressing.

This salad, served in the Shipwreck Restaurant at the Pirate Island Hotel, can sometimes accompany a pork dish — so Aleman also provided its rub recipe as well.

Onto the salad! 


Shipwreck Salad

Ingredients for poppy seed dressing

  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1½ tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

Salad ingredients

  • 6 cups mixed green lettuce
  • 1/3 cup yellow grape tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup red grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup poppy seed dressing (recipe above)
  • 1 Fuji apple, cut into thin slices
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Grana Padano cheese

Preparation for the dressing

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender cup except for the olive oil.
  2. Mix at medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
  3. Bring blender speed to low, and with a running motor, slowly add the oil until dressing is well-emulsified.
  4. Transfer dressing to a sealed container, refrigerate and reserve until needed.

Preparation for the salad

  1. In a medium bowl, toss mixed greens and tomatoes with the dressing until well-combined.
  2. Top the tossed lettuce with the sliced apples, red onions, dried cranberries, toasted almonds and cheese.
  3. Serve immediately.

Sweet pork dry rub


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 4 teaspoons onion powder
  • 4 teaspoons chile powder
  • 4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

Preparation for the dry rub

  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients thoroughly until well-mixed, breaking apart any clumps of brown sugar.

Use the rub to cook your favorite pork cuts, like pork butt, shoulder or ribs.

The rub will last for up to 30 days in an airtight container.