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It’s salad season

Salad season is finally here and the last few weeks I’ve totally been into homemade Cobb Salads. At this time of year I love having a big salad for my main meal and the Cobb is the perfect full meal deal in a bowl and hearty as heck.

The Cobb Salad isn’t that popular here on the east coast or in Canada much at all. From what I can determine, it originated in the U.S. at Hollywood’s Brown Derby restaurant back in the 1930s. There are a few versions of this story, but it generally goes that the owner Robert Cobb hadn’t eaten and it was late at night and he went into the kitchen and threw together a bunch of leftovers and created the salad.

On my travels to the states, I always look for the Cobb for it’s awesome mix of chopped ingredients which typically include egg, avocado, tomato, chicken, onion, bacon and blue cheese with a ranch style creamy dressing. I’m not a fan of blue cheese so I usually ask them to substitute another kind. The combination of these ingredients is absolutely delicious.

bacon-2816_1280When I make the salad at home, I change things up a bit based on what I have on hand and what’s in season. You can totally adjust this salad to suit your own preferences. It’s basically a big chopped salad with a creamy dressing.

The presentation of the salad varies, but in restaurants the ingredients are usually laid out in sections or strips on top of a bed of greens with the dressing drizzled over. A section of bacon, a section of chicken, a section of egg, a section of avocado – you get the picture. I personally prefer the chopped toppings distributed evenly over the greens instead of in their individual groupings. I like mine mixed so I get a nice assortment of the various topping in each bite.

Using up leftovers in a salad is genius and it’s how I came to make the Cobb recently. We cooked a whole chicken on Sunday and when I was perusing the fridge for Monday’s supper ideas, I spotted leftover bacon, some Fox Hill cheese and a bag of Ted Hutten’s crisp, sweet, new spring greens. Yay we have the fixing for a Cobb Salad!

I did a bit of Internet research and landed on the perfect Cobb dressing made with coconut milk and an egg that has now become my staple dressing to have on hand.

The next day for lunch I recreated a slightly different version of the Cobb since we had used up all the bacon. Chicken, egg, avocado, steamed fresh asparagus, cheese and green onions. Today, I had another variation but without chicken or bacon. Egg, avocado, smoked cheddar, cherry tomatoes, steamed asparagus and walnuts. I sat on my deck in the sun and cool ocean breeze and devoured my delicious Cobb. Oh how I adore you.

Here’s the recipe for your eating pleasure!

Cobb Salad

Inspired by Paleodish

Serves 2

Salad:

6 cups of your favourite mixed greens
1 large chicken breast cooked and chopped or about 2 cups leftover meat from whole chicken
1 large avocado, sliced
10 cherry tomatoes cut in half
8 slices bacon, chopped
2 medium-boiled eggs, sliced
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice. I prefer an old cheddar.
1/4 cup chopped green onions

Dressing:

2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
1 egg
1 cloves fresh garlic
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1 tsp dill
1/2 tsp sea salt
fresh ground pepper- to taste
dash of cayenne pepper

Instructions:

• Heat oven to bake on 350. Place strips of bacon on backing rack with cookie sheet or drip sheet below. Cook for 15 mins then flip and cook for another 15. Can also fry in a frying pan on stovetop.

• While bacon is cooking, place two eggs in a small to medium pot, fill with water and place on high. When water comes to a boil, cook for about 7 minutes. Set aside in cold water.

• Prepare and chop all other ingredients and veggies.

• Place all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until creamy.

• Divide all ingredients in half to prepare two plates. Place salad greens on plate and top with shredded cheese, then chicken, egg, avocado, bacon and green onions. Arrange tomatoes around edges of plate.

• Drizzle dressing on top of salad and enjoy!

*This post was originally published in the Herald Community on July 1, 2014

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