This is an elegant presentation of an old favorite, the Cobb Salad. It’s a favorite of those who, like me, love a variety of ingredients combined into each satisfying bite.
Ingredients: (The amount of the ingredients depends upon how many you are serving. It also depends upon your preferences regarding the ratio of ingredients. Personally, I like very little lettuce and a lot of chicken. You may like just the opposite.)
- Avocado, chunked
- Crumbled Bleu cheese
- Diced red onion
- Shredded chicken breast
- Cooked, crumbled bacon
- Lettuce cut into small pieces
- Diced hard-boiled egg
- tomatoes, halved or chopped
- Essential vinaigrette or other dressing of your choice.
I made the salad above using a kit from the people who wrote “Stacks: The Art of Vertical Food.” The book is still available, but I don’t see the kit out there, which is a shame. This was a triangular shaped mold with an open top and bottom. Basically, you choose something for the bottom that will provide a good base. (If you’re using the tomatoes, be sure you allow them to sit on paper towels a few minutes to get excess moisture out. I used the chicken, with a little of the tomatoes mixed with it. You create the salad by building layer after layer. In the picture above, I topped it with the lettuce. The kit contains a special tool just the right size and shape to tamp it down with.
So, you don’t have the special Stacks kit and therefore don’t have the tool. No worries. Plan in advance and save a can from green beans or Rotel or whatever next time you use one. Use a can opener to take the top and the bottom off. Save it. Make your salad in the can. Put the lid on top. Use a utensil, such as a wooden spoon, to slowly push the lid down into the can, compressing your ingredients. What you’re trying to do is get the ingredients to meld together so that when you lift off the can and lid, the salad will remain in the cylindrical shape.
For a QUICK way to serve the salad, use mini-trifle dishes, as I did below. Just layer the ingredients and serve. Not as impressive looking (particularly because, in this case, you can’t see the red onions or the tomatoes or the avocadoes.), but still attractive and certainly fast.
I do two things which make it easy for me to prepare this salad with just a few moment’s notice. I always cook bacon in advance and freeze baggies of it, so anytime I need bacon, I shake a little out, microwave it on a plate with paper towels, and it’s ready to go. Plus, I grab a rotisserie chicken at the store. If I’m not at the store that day, I virtually always have some shredded rotisserie chicken in my freezer that I can quickly thaw and use. As long as I have the other ingredients around, I’m good to go!
“For a delightful twist on this traditional offering, try our Southwestern Cobb Salad. With big chunks of smoked turkey or chicken, it’s a stouter, heartier main dish.”