Way back in the day (a la 2009), I took California for granted. I genuinely believed that I could live anywhere in the country, or maybe even the world, and be fine.
Freshly after graduating college, I jetted off to Pennsylvania, and spent about 2 years living the Steel City of Pittsburgh. While I loved the friends and colleagues I made there, my oh my, did I miss my sunny happy California.
The weather... (pretty much always between a pleasant 65 and 80 degrees w. no humidity or rain), the friendly open minded people, the fashion, the Mexican food, my family. I missed it all.
So this post is in honor of lovely California.
I present to you, the California Cobb Salad.
What makes this cobb salad so Californian? Let me count the ways...
- Grilled chicken. I'm not exaggerating that you can grill year round in California, so I just had to oblige in this salad. (Although I cheated and used a grill pan, hehe).
- Avocadooo. Okay, that's already in cobb salad. But I gave each serving a full HALF of an avocado. Because anything less would be blasphemy.
- Sprouts. Californians love their health food. And what screams health more than fresh sprouts on your salad or sandwich?? Nothing, that's what.
- Perfectly hardboiled eggs. Because a trendy Californian wouldn't be caught dead with an over-done chalky egg yolk (especially not one w. a green ring around it!). Smooth, creamy, and richly dark yellow. These eggs aren't just an afterthought, they're a main star of the dish.
- Fresh herbs. Since fresh fruits and veggies are available at farmers market year round here in Cali, I had to represent with some fresh oregano stirred into the dressing. Yum yum.
Again, this salad is perfect for serving a crowd. Just place all the ingredients in small bowls, and let everyone assemble their own salad to their pleasing. Enjoy!
California Cobb SaladPrint
For the salad:
- 8 slices of uncooked bacon
- 4 large eggs
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Grapeseed oil
- Kosher salt & ground black pepper, for seasoning
- 1 large head romaine lettuce
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 2 avocados, thinly sliced
- 4 oz alfalfa sprouts
- 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
- For the Dressing:
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the bacon pieces on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Use tongs to move the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate & let cool.
- Next, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with several inches of cold water. Put the pot on the stove & warm over high heat until the water comes to a rolling boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pot & run under cool water. Place in the fridge to cool completely.
- Cover a large cutting board with plastic wrap & place the chicken breasts on them. Cover with a second layer of plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet to pound the breasts to roughly ¼ inch thickness. Discard the plastic wrap, drizzle the cutlets with grapeseed oil, then season liberally with kosher salt & ground black pepper.
- Preheat a grill pan over high heat. Add the pounded chicken breasts & cook about 4 or 5 minutes on the first side, and just a minute or two on the second side (until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit). Remove from the grill and let cool.
- Next, cut the head of romaine into bite-sized pieces for the salad. Wash the salad pieces well, and spin dry in a salad spinner. Set aside.
- Next, prep all the cooked salad ingredients. Crumble the bacon into pieces, slice the hardboiled eggs into rounds, and slice the chicken into thin strips.
- Finally, make the salad dressing. Whisk the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, garlic, Dijon, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl.
- Fill each bowl with one quarter of the lettuce, and top with ¼ of the chicken, 1 sliced egg, ½ avocado, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, ¼ of the bacon, ¼ of the green onion, ¼ cup blue cheese, and a handful of sprouts. Drizzle with salad dressing, and enjoy!
Pssst - Here is my favorite easy way to chop lettuce!
Goes great with Herbed Garlic Bread!