Cobb Salad with Fresh Herbs

July 26, 2013 by andrea | Filed under Chicken, Grilling/BBQ, Main Dish, Salad, Summer, Vegetable.

Cobb-salad-

Who can resist a good Cobb salad? The combo of smoky bacon, perfectly ripe avocados, tomatoes and blue cheese mixed with salad greens is an American classic!. The updates in this version come from the use of grilled chicken, pine nuts, fresh herbs, and a tangy Lemon-Sherry Vinaigrette. The salad is hearty, flavorful and makes a perfect summertime meal!

I use a good-quality, thick-sliced applewood-smoked bacon. You can cook the bacon and make the vinaigrette ahead of time then refrigerate both until you’re ready to make the salad. The recipe calls for Boston lettuce but I used a combo of that and some mixed baby greens.

I like to support local companies so I usually use a blue cheese from Oregon’s own award winning  Rogue Creamery.  The recipe calls for Roquefort but you can use your favorite kind of blue cheese, or substitute feta or goat cheese if you prefer.

Serve the salad with some crusty bread. Enjoy!

Cobb Salad with Fresh Herbs
 -recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine

This update on the classic Cobb Salad features mustard-crusted grilled chicken, crunchy pine nuts, and tons of fresh flavor from the mint, chives and parsley. Yields 6 large dinner salads.

2 Tbs. mayonnaise
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (7 to 8 oz. each), tenderloins separated if still attached
2 heads Boston lettuce (about 12 oz. total), trimmed, torn into bite-size pieces, washed, and dried
1-1/2 cups lightly packed fresh parsley leaves, torn if large
3/4 cup lightly packed mint leaves, torn if large
1 recipe Lemon-Sherry Vinaigrette  (see below)
3 large avocados
2-1/2 cups (about 1 lb.) halved grape tomatoes
1 heaping cup (6 oz.) crumbled Roquefort
2/3 cup toasted pine nuts
12 slices bacon, cooked, cooled, and crumbled
1/2 cup sliced chives (3/4 inch long)
 
Grill the chicken: Heat a gas grill to medium high. In a mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Grill until well marked and cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes per side for the breasts, and 2 to 3 minutes per side for the tenderloins. Let cool and cut into small dice.

Assemble the salads: Set 6 large dinner plates on your counter. Combine the lettuce, parsley, and mint in a large mixing bowl. Toss with just enough of the vinaigrette to coat lightly, 4 to 5 Tbs. Season with a little salt and pepper and toss again. Divide among the plates, arranging the lettuce in a circle with a small hole in the center.

Peel, pit, and cut the avocados into medium dice and toss them in a medium bowl with 2 Tbs. of the vinaigrette. Combine about a sixth each of the avocados, tomatoes, Roquefort, pine nuts, and chicken in the mixing bowl. Season with a little salt and pepper and toss with about 1 Tbs. of the vinaigrette. (You won’t use all the dressing.) Mound the mixture in the center of a salad. Repeat for the rest of the salads. Sprinkle on the bacon and chives and serve.

Lemon-Sherry Vinaigrette
Yields 1-1/4 cups.

3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (from about 1 large lemon)
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Put all the ingredients in a glass measuring cup or a jar with a tight-fitting lid and whisk or vigorously shake to combine. You can store the vinaigrette in the refrigerator for up to 5 days; let come to room temperature and shake or whisk before using.

 

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