For me when all this hot weather is around it is salad time. I have been looking for some main dish salads and I came across this one here at Whole Living which we had last evening, and it is a keeper!
1 boneless and skinless chicken breast half
2 large eggs
3 slices turkey bacon
1 head romaine lettuce, stalk and tough out leaves removed and sliced crosswise into 3/4-inch wide
strips (about 6 cups)
1 cup chopped fresh watercress
3 tomatoes, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 small ripe Hass avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add chicken; cook at a bare simmer until it is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cut into 1/2-inch cubes; set aside.
Place eggs in a small saucepan; fill with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; turn off heat. Cover; let stand 11 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and cover with cold water; let cool and peel. Slice eggs in half lengthwise. Discard one yolk and pass the other through a fine sieve into a small bowl; set aside. Slice each egg white into six wedges; set aside.
Cook bacon in a medium saute pan over medium-low heat until browned and fat is rendered, turning once, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to drain on paper towels. Let cool; roughly chop.
Spread lettuce on a service platter. Arrange chicken, eggs, bacon, watercress, tomatoes, avocado, parsley and chives in separate rows.
Make the vinaigrette: in a small bowl whisk together cheese, vinegar and mustard. Slowly whisk in the oil, cheese, vinegar and mustard. Slowly whisk in the oil. Season with pepper. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad and serve immediately.
(Chicken breast and turkey bacon was used for a leaner version of this salad. If you prefer you can use roasted turkey breast instead of poached chicken.)
Added note: this is a great main dish salad. Gregg and I thought it was excellent. He especially enjoyed the dressing and asked me to use it on other salads. Easy enough to do as it's one of the simplest I have made. Instead of mixing the blue cheese in the dressing I sprinkled it over the salad instead.
I couldn't find watercress in our local supermarket and even asked the produce manager. He said he never knew when it was going to come in. In other words you have to pop in and hope it is there. I have looked before and don't ever remember it being available on other visits, but then I haven't made anything in a long while that calls for watercress, so it's possible that I have missed it. They had some really good baby butter lettuce which was a good substitute we thought. The leaves were tiny and when all else fails, improvise right?
I did buy the flat leaf parsley but when I tasted it I found that I didn't like it, and just to be sure asked Gregg. He didn't care for it either. I have never bought the flat-leaf parsley before and I don't think I will again. I should have bought Cilantro instead. Probably not traditional for a Cobb Salad but it would fit our taste buds better.
I didn't use the hard boiled eggs as one of us can't abide the smell of them cooking, texture or the taste. It was easy enough to leave them off as there were plenty of other ingredients to enjoy.
I reduced the ingredients a little to serve two people but there were leftovers still and hopefully they will be fresh enough to use for lunch tomorrow. I put it in a Ziploc bag and am keeping my fingers crossed.
Not strictly a Cobb Salad by the traditional sense but all in all delicious and one I will be making again.