Jun 07 2014
Recently I took a trip to my hometown of Niagara-On-The-Lake and while there, my mom and I got talking about Cobb salad one day. We discussed the things that typically went into it, as well as how it got its name. Ever since that conversation, I’ve been thinking about the Cobb, which was also one of the very first things I learned to make in restaurants. There’s definitely a lot of chopping that goes into it – maybe that’s why prep work was always my favourite in the kitchen. Once you’ve got it all done though, it’s really just a matter of assembling this composed salad, and all you need for the vinaigrette is a blender and a few simple ingredients.
As for the conversation that began my reminiscing of the Cobb salad? Turns out it was created by Robert Cobb way back in the 1930s, and just like Caesar salad, it was invented by Cobb throwing together whatever he had on hand in his own kitchen that day. There are typical ingredients that go into it and they can be remembered through the mnemonic EAT COBB: Egg, Avocado, Tomato, Chicken, Onion, Bacon, Blue Cheese. Of course, today’s recipe standards are a bit looser so you can substitute some of the ingredients, according to what you have on hand in your own kitchen. I did away with the blue cheese, tomato, and avocado and substituted them with roasted asparagus (at least I still got the “A” in there,) Cheddar cheese, green onions, and carrots. It was all still very, very good!
For the salad:
1 head of lettuce, ripped into pieces, washed and dried $3.00
4 pieces bacon $1.20
2 large carrots, peeled and julienned $0.34
1/2 English cucumber (about 1 – 1/2 cups), peeled and diced $0.64
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded $1.25
3 eggs $0.60
1 tablespoon white vinegar $0.02
1 cup asparagus (10 – 12 thick stalks) $2.25
2 tablespoons olive oil $0.06
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed $2.90
2 green onions, diced $0.25
For the vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar $0.21
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard $0.12
1 tablespoon sugar $0.01
1 green onion, roughly chopped $0.12
1 clove garlic, smashed $0.01
1/3 cup olive oil $0.23
Total cost $13.25
Cost per serving $3.31
1.) Dice up the bacon and place it in a skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon bits are nice and golden brown. Remove from heat, drain on paper towels, and set aside.
2.) Meanwhile, place eggs into a medium-sized saucepan and fill with water. Add one tablespoon of white vinegar. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Once it’s come to a rapid boil, turn heat off, leaving the lid on and the pan on the burner. Let sit for ten minutes before transferring eggs to a bowl of ice water. Once the eggs have cooled down, gently crack and roll along the countertop. Hold under cold running water while gently peeling the egg away. Once all the eggs have been peeled, dice them up and set aside.
3.) Set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roughly chop up the asparagus, place them in a shallow casserole dish or baking tray and coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Turn them to ensure that all ingredients are fully combined and then place them in the hot oven. Allow to roast for about 10 minutes before removing and setting them aside to cool down.
4.) In a blender, combine all the ingredients for the salad dressing except for the olive oil. Blend until smooth and then slowly stream in the olive oil to thicken. Set aside.
5.) Arrange lettuce on four plates, allowing it to completely cover the bottom of the plate. In columns, arrange veggies and proteins in columns. You can do this any way you feel is the prettiest, but to mix up the colours a bit this is the order in which I did mine: bacon, carrots, cucumber, cheese, egg, asparagus, and cooked chicken. Sprinkle green onion over top of each plate and then drizzle vinaigrette over top.
6.) Serve and enjoy!