classic cobb salad

Classic Cobb Salad

Yesterday, I blogged about making the perfect hardboiled egg.  While my daughter could eat hardboiled eggs all day, every day, all by themselves, I like to have my hardboiled eggs with something.  I’m not a naked protein kind of woman.

When I made those hardboiled eggs, I was building towards something: a Classic Cobb Salad.  There are so many versions of the Cobb Salad, and some of them barely resemble the iconic salad made famous by the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant.  People add ingredients, omit ingredients, change the dressing.  But if you change it too much, it’s not really a Cobb Salad.  Call it what you will, but it’s not a Cobb Salad.

ingredients of a cobb saladSo what is on a classic Cobb salad?  Remember the ingredients this way: EAT COBB.  Eggs, Avocado, Tomato, Chicken, Onion, Bacon, Bleu Cheese.  Add some lettuce (which is a total duh because duh, it’s a salad!) and a red wine vinaigrette dressing, and you have a classic Cobb salad!

These ingredients provide the perfect blend of healthy, fatty, creamy, salty, lean … in short, it’s just about perfectly blended.  There are so many flavors that work together to make a well-rounded salad.  You get salty from the bacon and bleu cheese, creamy from avocado and hardboiled eggs, fresh from the onions and tomatoes, and on and on.  The protein from the eggs and chicken, combined with the fats from the avocado and bacon will keep you full.  I hate eating a healthy salad, only to be hungry again in an hour.  What’s the point of eating healthy if you’re going to be snacking in a little bit?  Cobb salads are good at preventing that salad slump.

This salad is great for using up leftovers, too.  When I have an extra chicken breast or a couple hardboiled eggs, I like to turn them into a Cobb salad.  You can also use leftovers from a whole chicken (like a rotisserie chicken).  I’m not including instructions for cooking the chicken breast here, since there are so many ways to include chicken in this salad.

And be careful cutting your avocado!  Recently, it’s been in the news where people have been seriously injuring themselves by improperly cutting avocadoes.  Real Simple has a great tutorial video on how to properly — and safely — dice an avocado!

Classic Cobb Salad finished classic cobb salad

(makes 2 salads)

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • 2 hardboiled eggs
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 chicken breast, baked or grilled
  • 2-3 green onions
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1/3 cup bleu cheese (gorgonzola or roquefort ok, too)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • pinch sugar
  • a few generous grinds of black pepper
  • 1/2  to 1 tsp salt (depending on your taste)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. wash lettuce in the salad spinnerSlice the head of romaine lettuce into more-or-less bite-sized pieces.  Wash the lettuce in the strainer part of the salad spinner, then spin the lettuce dry.  Alternatively, you can buy a bag of romaine (not the blend with the carrots and stuff; just romaine).  Spread the lettuce on two plates.
  2. If you need to cook your chicken or hard boil your eggs, get those started now.
  3. Microwave bacon until crispy, about 3 minutes, depending on bacon thickness and microwave strength.  Crispy bacon provides a good crunchy contrast to softer ingredients like eggs and avocado.
  4. Cut tomatoes and avocado.  Chop bacon once it is cooked.
  5. Chop the green portion of the onions into little slivers.
  6. To make the vinaigrette the easy way, pour vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, pepper, and olive oil into a sealed container, like a Tupperware or covered Mason jar.  Shake vigorously to emulsify all ingredients.
  7. Top the lettuce plates with the eggs, avocado, tomato, chicken, bacon and bleu cheese.  For a prettier presentation, place ingredients in lines across the plate.  I like to alternate flavors, so don’t place all the salty ingredients together, or all the fatty ingredients together.  Otherwise, it’s fine to just throw them on top.
  8. Sprinkle green onions on top of other ingredients.
  9. Drizzle dressing on the top.

Serve with some sort of bread on the side, or a bowl of soup if you want.  I recommend my Goat Cheese Tomato Soup.

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