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Classic Cobb Salad



Here we are, the first day of Autumn.  How did that happen???  It seems the summer went past far too quickly and fall was too eager to arrive.  Actually it seems we didn't have any summer at all.  The weather was lousy for the most part, but that is just the way it is some years. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.  I love Autumn however, so all is not lost!


Todd had to take the car today to have our tires put on and so he was going to be away for most of the day.  I told him to pick up something to eat while he was waiting and I decided to make myself a salad for my lunch.  But not just any salad.  A Classic Cobb salad.


The origins of this salad are said to be the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant in California back in the 1930's.  Wherever it came from, I have to say it is one of my favourites.  It is a mix of chopped protein and vegetables plated up together with a tangy dressing.


I had some leftover roasted chicken so I used that, along with the remainder of my garden cherry tomatoes . . . I also had baby gem lettuce, but Romaine or Cos is the usual, and I also like to include watercress or rocket for a bit of interest and bite.


Diced avocado, and boiled egg, some shavings of cheddar . . . crisp bacon.  I really, REALLY would have liked blue cheese instead of cheddar, but I didn't have any so used the cheddar.  The creamy tang of blue cheese however, goes really well.  


I added some crispy salad onions, but you can use chopped spring onion, or red onion as well. altogether all the flavours went really well together and I felt a bit of a Saint for having salad for my dinner instead of something else.  Oh, I am so naughty most of the time, it felt good to feel like I was behaving myself for a change!


*A Classic Cobb Salad*
Serves 6
A deliciously interesting way to get in some of your five a day! Based on the classic from the original signature dish of the Hollywood Brown Derby. 

For the dressing:
4 TBS sherry wine vinegar
4 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and minced
fine sea salt to taste 

For the salad:
200g streaky smoked bacon (1/2 pound), cooked until crisp
2 medium brown onions peeled and finely sliced
1 small red onion, peeled and chopped
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved (about 24)
6 handfuls Cos lettuce, washed and roughly torn (Romaine)
(Today I used baby Gems)
6 handfuls of watercress or rocket
200g roasted chicken, torn (1/2 pound)
100g strong cheddar cheese, shaved with a peeler (1/4 pound)
(Can also use crumbled blue cheese)
3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
1 medium avocado, peeled and chopped, tossed with the juice of 1/2 lemon



Combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk together.  Taste and adjust seasoning as required.

Toss the lettuce and watercress/rocket with half of the salad dressing.  Arrange on chilled salad plates in a decorative manner.  Divide the remaining ingredients equally between the plates, arranging them over the lettuce attractively, adding the cheese and bacon last of all.  Drizzle over any remaining dressing and serve immediately.

Note - I like to divide all the ingredients when I arrange it over the lettuce, like the spokes of a wheel. If you don't like chicken, you can use ham, or even lobster, if you are feeling particularly flush. You can use both ham and chicken, or you can use turkey. You can leave out the meat altogether and use toasted pecans or walnuts.  Walnuts are particularly good with blue cheese. You can use chopped spring onion instead of the red onions, or crispy salad onions. (French fried onions in North America.)  In short this is a very adaptable full meal salad!


This is a delicious salad, and so very adaptable. It feels like a treat really . . .  and you are actually eating something which is fairly healthy and filled with vitamins, anti-oxidents and some of your five a day.  Bon appetit!
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Marie Rayner
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