Saturday, August 19, 2006

Chopped Salad and Cobb Salad

Two of my favorite salads are chopped salad and Cobb Salad. Chopped salads are easy to make and easy to eat (you literally chop everything into bite-sized pieces); Cobb salads are robust entree salads that has something for everybody.

The following is a mix of the two. Make the salad yours--add and subtract what you like!

Chopped Cobb Salad

One-to-two heads romaine lettuce, chopped into one-to-two inch pieces. Or, if you've got some organic spring mix, that's very nice. Of course, you won't chop it...
One large grilled chicken breast, chopped into one-inch cubes.
One to two ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped.
One to two ripe avocados, chopped to small cubes. Spritz with lemon juice to
keep from browning.
Three or four eggs, hard-boiled, cooled, and...chopped.
Bacon or ham, about one cup, chopped. Substitute turkey if you prefer.
1/2 cup Red onion, chopped, or green scallions if you prefer.
Small cubed cheese, flavorful and light in color. I like blue cheese/gorgonzola. Feta would be good, as would a nice havarti. (Cheese is optional, esp. for you waist watchers)
Red, yellow and orange peppers; cored, seeded and chopped to one-inch

Salad dressing. With all these flavors I prefer to simply toss with good olive oil and balsamic vinegar, a pinch of salt and pepper, and some snipped fresh herbs like basil or dill. If you prefer bottled, I recommend Paul Newman's "Newman's Own Caesar"

Remember, this dish is all about presentation at the table.
Spread lettuce on a large, flat tray. Then, alternating colors, spread other ingredients in lines across the lettuce. Have more egg than onion? Put the onions on the ends where the lines should be shorter, and the egg in the middle.
Alternate meat/veggie/dairy as well as colors.

If you don't have an ingredient, simply replace it with something else.
Marinated new red potatoes would be nice. Celery adds good crunch. Even sesame
seeds would be an interesting addition.

Serves four as an entree; serve with good, crusty bread.

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