Although there’s nothing Italian about a Cobb Salad, it’s what I’m in the mood for today. On some hot summer days after coming off the beach, the only thing that will satisfy is a large cool composed salad and some bread.
Not that this salad doesn’t require any cooking–it requires cooking of chicken breasts (I like to grill them), boiling eggs and rendering bacon. However, almost all of these components can be made ahead and served chilled or at room temperature. The only ingredients that require last-minute handling are the bacon (must be served hot or warm) and the avocado, which must be peeled and sliced at the last minute or it will discolor.
A word about boiling eggs–I like the yolks of my boiled eggs to be bright yellow and slightly underdone. If you boil eggs too hard or long, the yolks will have that dark green border, which I find inelegant. My method of boiling eggs is foolproof for avoiding the green. Simply place eggs in a small pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for about 30 seconds. Turn off heat, cover and leave pot on the warm burner for 8 minutes. Refresh with cold water until eggs are cool to the touch. Peel and serve.
1 lb arugula and watercress leaves combined
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved or 3 beefsteak tomatoes, cut in chunks
4 boiled eggs
4 pieces grilled chicken breast, sliced
2 avocados, sliced
1/4 lb bacon cubes, partially rendered, still warm
4 oz. blue cheese
2 tbls extra-virgin olive oil
1 – 1/2 tbl red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Dress greens with oil and vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste. Mound greens on individual plates. Arrange other ingredients on top and around.