SOUTHWEST COBB SALAD
COBB SALAD: ABOUT THE ORIGINAL
Southwest Cobb Salad is a twist on the original – a classic named The Cobb Salad that hit menus in the 1930’s and 40’s. Cobb Salad is a main-dish American garden salad typically made with chopped salad greens (iceberg lettuce, watercress, endives and Romaine lettuce), tomato, crisp bacon, boiled, grilled or roasted (but not fried) chicken breast, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, chives, Roquefort or blue cheese, and red-wine vinaigrette. Black olives are also often included.
(One way to remember the components is to use the mnemonic device that helps remember the ingredients with the first letter of each ingredient – EAT COBB: Egg, Avocado, Tomato, Chicken, Onion, Bacon, Blue cheese —then add lettuce.)
It is rumored to have been created at the Brown Derby in Hollywood back in the 30’s or 40’s and is named for the owner, Robert Cobb. The Cobb Salad came to be their signature dish at the swishy Hollywood eatery. Traditional plating of the Cobb Salad is to arrange each ingredient in “stripes” across the plate over the greens.
To make this healthy variation, Southwest Cobb salad, we use herbs, sweet corn and some zippy lime, cayenne, garlic and avocado. These ingredients help to build bold, big flavor. Sweet corn contrasts with creamy beans and crisp vegetables for a satisfying blend of taste and texture.
SOUTHWEST COBB SALAD
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 2 tomatoes chopped
- 6 green onions thinly sliced
- Mixed salad greens
- 1 ripe avocado peeled and medium diced
- To make the vinaigrette dressing, place lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, cumin, cilantro and cayenne pepper in a small jar. Cover with lid, and shake until ingredients are well mixed.On a large salad plate, cover plate with mixed greens. In a straight line, arrange beans, corn, bell pepper, tomatoes, avocados and green onions across salad. Shake the lime dressing, and pour it over the salad.
Tips for PERFECT BOILED EGGS and EASY TO PEEL EGGS:
- Start eggs in cold water in a single layer. The water should be one inch over eggs and the pan should be plenty big for the eggs to fit in one layer with room for movement.
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat. After the boil starts, let boil for 1 minute then remove from heat. Cover and set a timer for 13 minutes. After the time runs, drain and cover with cold tap water. Let hot eggs sit in cold water for a minute or so.
- Drain eggs. With eggs still in pan, shake the pan vigorously to start cracking the egg shells. When all are cracked, you should be able to easily peel the cracked shells away. (Sometimes I do it under a stream of cool water from the kitchen faucet, peeling and rinsing at the same time.)
AVOCADO IS A SUPERFOOD
You might notice that both recipes, Southwest Cobb Salad and the Classic Cobb Salad, call for avocado. If you are intimidated by eating or using avocado, take a big leap of faith and go beyond your fear of texture, peeling, cutting etc… all the other reasons cooks have told me why they don’t use avocado.
Avocado is a delicious and healthy “superfood.” It is an extremely flexible ingredient – it’s silky flesh can make creamy spreads and dips, it is a great topping to salads, toasts and sandwiches, and it is a decadent afternoon snack. Just make sure that after peeling and removing the pit to use it RIGHT AWAY or toss it with a little lime juice and store in an airtight container to keep it from browning, just like apples and bananas do.
In conclusion, Southwest Cobb Salad is a healthy version of the original Cobb Salad. It gets it great flavors from fresh ingredients, tart citrus and smoky southwestern spices.
Does your family like avocado? Leave me a comment below and let me know how you use it!
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