Friday, December 11, 2015

Cobb Salad with Creamy Pesto Dressing

I really liked this salad because it was hearty enough for dinner. I’ve made many salads that might look a bit like this (such as this southwestern chopped salad with a cilantro-avocado dressing), but that didn’t quite cut it as a meal. However, this Cobb salad with creamy pesto dressing from Parents magazine really hit the spot. Plus, it was highly adaptable – I made a vegetarian version and made a few substitutions according to what I had on hand. The dressing was really, really good!

(I just now realized how bad the picture is. But hey, I wrote the post, so I’m going to hit publish anyway. See, I used to have a lightbox and two lamps set up on the dining room table, but now that the Little Prince is reaching and grabbing whatever he can, that was no longer an option. I’m hoping that at some point next spring I can set something up in the guest bedroom, which is in the process of becoming the guest bedroom / sewing room.)

For the dressing
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup buttermilk (1 tsp. lemon juice + lactose-free milk)
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 Tbsp. finely grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, finely minced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Mix together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, basil, Parmesan, garlic, salt, and pepper in a blender until everything is well combined (I used a stick blender). Transfer to a plastic container. Refrigerate for up to 2 days until ready to serve

For the salad
6 cups slivered romaine lettuce
8 slices bacon, cooked and roughly crumbled (or sunflower seeds)
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced
2 medium-size tomatoes, seeded and diced (I had miniature tomatoes)
1 ½ cups cubed cooked chicken (or 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained)
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
½ cup diced red onion
½ cup crumbled blue cheese (I used feta; any lactose-free substitute is fine)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Scatter the lettuce over a large serving platter.

Make nice neat rows over the lettuce with the crumbled bacon, diced eggs, tomatoes, chicken, avocado, onion, and blue cheese. (The order is of no consequence; whatever strikes you. I made the salad directly in plates instead of having a serving platter, though.) Season with salt and pepper. You can drizzle the dressing over the salad, or serve it on the side.

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