Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cool and Classic!

While I'm continuing to follow Le Tour de France, I wanted to post a recipe from the French Alps, but it's just too hot! I can't bring myself to pull out my raclette, heat the oven for a tartiflette, or sit over a warm cheese fondue in the sweltering heat of July! However, if you feel inclined, check out Gratin Dauphinois and Cherry Clafoutis for a couple indigenous recipes from this beautiful landscape!

So, when it's too hot to cook, there is nothing better than a refreshing Cobb Salad loaded with seasonal fruits and vegetables, chicken, eggs, blue cheese, and the ever important bacon! Cobb Salad was created at the legendary Brown Derby in Hollywood. (Unfortunately, it is no longer there, literally, the building was torn down in 1983.) According to The Brown Derby Restaurant, by Sally Wright Cobb, Cobb Salad was created in 1973, by then owner Bob Cobb, from leftovers he found in the restaurant refrigerator. The salad was so good, it was immediately added to the menu and became an overnight sensation! Not only is it a great way to use up leftovers, it makes a very satisfying meal, perfect on a hot summer day!

(It's very pretty!)

Classic Cobb Salad

Serves 6 as a main course

For the vinaigrette
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 medium garlic clove, minced (see Techniques)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the salad
1 small head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 bunch watercress (about 4 ounces), stemmed, chopped, if necessary (If you can't find or prefer not to use watercress, you can substitute arugula or spinach.)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked, cooled, and diced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
3 hard-boiled eggs (see Techniques), diced
2 medium, ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, diced
8 ounces bacon (about 8 slices), chopped, cooked, and cooled
1/2 cup crumbled Roquefort cheese (I wouldn't waste fabulous Roquefort for this recipe. Use Gorgonzola!)
3 tablespoons chives, chopped

For the vinaigrette
Mix together ingredients for the vinaigrette. Set aside and whisk to recombine before using.

For the salad
Mix the romaine and watercress together and place on a large platter or wide deep bowl, like for pasta. Arrange each ingredient in stripes on the greens. Sprinkle with the chives.

Just before serving, mix the the salad with the dressing. (Just like they did at the Brown Derby!)

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