Salads normally make an appearance as dinner in my home a few times a week. Not as a side dish or an accompaniment, but as the main event. I like to have my largest meal in the middle of the day, at a time where I’m (these days literally) running around and burning up those calories. I don’t think I need a big heavy meal in the evening when resting is the key activity, and because we are early risers* the space between dinner time and bed time is usually quite short. I don’t like to go to bed with a big heavy meal sitting in my gut. In fact, that usually keeps me up at night.
On weekdays we make what I call ‘simple salads’. Greens, veg, a handful of nuts, and a scoop of cottage cheese for protein. I don’t like salad dressings and almost never use them. I gave them up back in my Weight Watchers days because I didn’t think they were worth the points, and all these years later I guess I’m just used to eating my salads bare naked, as it were. I will however, on occasion, drizzle a bit of good olive oil and a splash of balsamic over my salad.
This is my spin on a Cobb salad. It’s a little dressier than my standard weeknight salad, but still comes together quickly and is easy to make for one, as pictured here, or to scale up for a crowd. If I’m making this salad for a group I like to lay down a bed of greens on a big platter and then assemble the various accoutrements, each in their own section, so people can pick and choose what they want.
I think this is a salad you could take in a million different directions. Here I have lined up various vegetables, hard boiled egg, potatoes I picked out of a potato salad I had in the fridge, creamy avocado, salty black olives, sweet pitted dates, and a crumble of nice blue cheese. I often like to include diced up smoked tofu, which makes for a nice replacement for the traditional Cobb salad components of diced chicken and bacon. I don’t put a dressing on this salad because, as I said, I’m not really a salad dressing kind of gal, but also because I think the flavourful toppings don’t really need it. Of course you could use a salad dressing if you wanted to; it’s your salad. I believe a red wine vinaigrette is traditional here.
*Paul no longer considers me an early riser. After 7 years of working at a job that required me to get up at 4:30am I now like to sleep in until (*gasp*) 6:45am. I know, it’s shocking.
One year ago: Maple Walnut Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Cobb Salad Recipe:
The portions I’ve included here are for a salad for one person. Simply multiply the ingredients by the number of people you are making this salad for. And go crazy adding other ingredients of your choice. The world is your Cobb salad oyster.
1-2 cups shredded salad greens
1/4 cup diced cucumber
1/4 cup diced red pepper
1/4 cup diced tomato
1/8 cup diced red onion
1/4 of a ripe avocado, chopped
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
1 small potato, boiled and chopped (about 1/3 cup chopped)
1/4 cup walnuts
1/8 cup blue cheese, crumbled
4-6 pitted dates, chopped
6 kalamata olives
Spread salad greens over a plate or platter. Lay down each of the remaining ingredients in their own tidy little section. Serve.
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2011