Cobb Salad (The Catch-All of Salads)
I love a good Cobb Salad… mostly because while I find lettuce boring, cobb salads are full of fun and interesting ingredients to fill your bites with flavor. And of course this fits OH so well with the idea of creative cooking because you can throw nearly anything into a cobb salad. For example, we didn’t have any bacon but we did have some left over ham (from a casserole I made last week), and some eggs that needed hard boiling before they went bad… easily incorporated. So this was my most recent take on the Cobb Salad (including a creamy lime dressing)…
What you need:
For Salad base:
- some type of lettuce/green
- tomatoes (optional)
- cucumbers (optional)
- corn (optional… frozen, canned, off the cobb)
- chicken breast
- hard boiled eggs
- olive oil
- black beans (optional)
- carrots (optional… we opted out due to plate space)
- ham (or bacon… optional of course but delicious)
- avocado (on everything please)
For Dressing (obviously you can use whatever dressing you like… this one’s lime southwestern):
- 2 tbsp cream cheese/neufchatel (super fun to say and type!)
- 2 tbsp sour cream (I used low fat)
- 1 lime (well more accurately juice of 1/4 to 1/2 a lime… but you can’t buy 1/2 a lime obviously)
- cayenne or hot sauce
- olive oil
- 1/2 an avocado (mashed)
Caramelize those onions…. so slice them up thin and toss them in your cast iron with a little bit of olive oil and a pad of butter. If you’re keen on it, you can toss in a pinch of sugar to help this process, but I’m kind of meh about that. Caramelizing onions does take a bit of time, around 45 minutes, but it’s super worth it. My favorite simple explanation of how to do this is from Simply Recipes … I’d recommend checking that out if you’re unfamiliar with the process.
Also, if you don’t have hard boiled eggs, you can do this at the same time. It takes about 15 minutes to get the water boiling, then cook the eggs (10 minutes of cook time). Then cool the eggs in some ice water before the salad arranging ensues.
Cooking the chicken is easy peasy. Salt and pepper each side if you wish, or not. Like squash, I actually pretty much dislike white meat chicken. BUT The Kitchn saved me from this distaste. So I follow the method they use here except I really just skip the flour stuff. It’s not necessary to do all that really, they stay moist and awesome without it. In short, you sear each side for a few minutes in olive oil, add a few tbsps of water or wine to the pan, and cover for 25ish minutes (depends on the thickness of your chicken)
Step 3: Heat up anything that’s frozen or unpleasantly cold. For me, that was frozen corn, and left over ham. For you that might be frozen peas, or black beans (if yours are cold and you’re opposed to such a thing) etc. I shamelessly use the microwave for this.
Step 4: Ok, dressing time. Get a bowl or even a mug out first. Scoop in the cream cheese, and if it’s not softened, throw that in the microwave for about 15 seconds to do that. Then scoop in the sour cream (you can also use greek yogurt here). Now come the yummy parts… lime, cumin, cayenne! Squeeze in the juice from 1/4 or so of the lime at first. You can add more later, but it’s easy to over lime (at least in my opinion)
To that cut up about half of an avocado (put the other half on your salad!) and mash it up into the dressing. Seriously though, why are avocados so delicious and lovely? Anyway, pretty much your dressing is done. If it’s too thick, add a splash or two of olive oil and blend. If not spicy enough.. you know, add spices. Do what your taste buds tell you. I didn’t LOVE my dressing but it was a nice change of pace from the typical ranch.
Step 5: Chop the rest of your veggies and assemble salad! Just scoop all your tasty ingredients, caramelized onions and all, right on there, chop that egg and chicken and get them on top and eat! As you can see the BF and I enjoy different toppings (he flat out refuses to eat raw tomatoes much to my dismay, while I really dislike hard boiled egg yolks… ew chalky) but here they are all shiny and scrumptious! But here are both just in case you like pretty salad pictures as much as I do…
And if you’re like me and always make too much of everything – this can be made for lunch the next day at the same time which is a double win in my book. Enjoy! And let us know what your favorite salad toppings & dressings are (and how to make them if they’re fancy like candied walnuts or something).
I’m with you on the raw tomatoes, B!