Salmon Cobb Salad ~ a twist on a classic main course salad that proves that salad can complete with tacos or pizza any night of the week!
For my first main course salad challenge of the month of March I’ve chosen a golden oldie, the Cobb salad.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and that’s how I feel about the cobb salad, at least to a point ;) The original cobb salad recipe was introduced the 1930s at Hollywood’s Brown Derby restaurant, and quickly become an American classic. The salad has hung around this long for a simple reason, it’s good! I ‘m staying more or less faithful to the original today with one simple little variation ~ I’m swapping out the chicken for salmon, a pretty good trade if you ask me. The rest is true to the original, even the dressing, which is simple but oozes old school restaurant charm.
What is in a Cobb Salad?
- chicken (I’m using salmon)
- a combination of romaine lettuce, endive, and watercress greens
- boiled eggs
- crumbled blue cheese
- red onion (not traditional but I think essential)
- the dressing is a red wine and mustard vinaigrette, which is very close to the original Cobb salad dressing recipe.
What’s the difference between a chef and a Cobb salad?
They’re both similar main course salads topped with meats and cheese, but the Cobb specifically features the above mix of lettuces, avocado, and tomato. A chef salad will sometimes contain other meats like ham, turkey and roast beef, and is traditionally served with thousand island dressing.
One of the must haves on a Cobb salad is boiled eggs. And while in past years they would have been hard boiled, modern tastes lean more toward jammy centers.
How to cook eggs to jammy perfection…
- Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Lower your eggs into the boiling water carefully.
- Cook exactly 6 1/2 minutes, no more, no less, set your timer!
- Place the eggs directly into an ice bath for 2 minutes (Thanks Bon Appétit for this genius method)
- Put the eggs back in the drained pan and shake them vigorously against each other and the side of the pan, don’t be afraid! The network of small cracks will allow you to peel the eggs effortlessly.
- Don’t slice until ready to use, the jammy yolk will dribble :)
- Enjoy, or store for up to 3 days
- Note: if you’re concerned about eating runny eggs, use pasteurized eggs, which can be found right in your supermarket. Or cook your eggs longer, from 8, 10, to 12 minutes which will produce hard cooked eggs.
The mix of greens for a Cobb salad is interesting, and not ones that I would ordinarily think to throw together:
Romaine: stays super crunchy without ever wilting and makes a great base for a bulky salad like this.
Endive: curly endive is a frilly leaved green with a slightly bitter flavor. It adds great texture to the mix.
Watercress: possibly my favorite green, it has a peppery flavor and it’s packed with nutrients.
Is Romaine safe to eat?
- Yes. And no. It’s complicated.
- As of 3/19 the vast majority of romaine is completely safe, but there is still some uncertainty about the few farms in Central and Northern California where the recent contamination was traced to.
- There’s new labeling going into effect that will assure you that your lettuce is safe, look for it.
- When in doubt, ask your produce manager, that’s what they’re there for. My grocery store only stocks safe romaine, so I feel comfortable eating it.
6 Lettuces you can substitute for romaine ~
- green leaf or red leaf lettuce
- Boston or bibb lettuce
- little gem lettuce
I hope you enjoy this first installment of my March Main Course Salad Challenge :) I’ve already got a few ideas bouncing around for next Wednesday, but if you’ve got a favorite, or if there’s something you’d love to see me tackle, let me know in the comments.
Reader Rave ~
“I had this on my mind when I saw your post. Today I stopped and got all the ingredients and we are now enjoying it along with roasted garlic bread. Made it as directed. The dressing is fantastic! Thank you for sharing your recipe.” ~ Fern
Salmon Cobb Salad
- 4 handfuls of chopped romaine lettuce
- 2 handful endive chopped
- 2 handful watercress trimmed
- 1/2 lb cooked salmon broken into large flakes
- 6 -8 slices crisp bacon crumbled or broken
- 4 boiled eggs sliced in half
- a few 1/8 inch thin slices of red onion
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
- about 8-10 cherry tomatoes or strawberry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 avocado sliced (squeeze lemon juice over all the exposed areas to prevent browning)
vinaigrette (feel free to double the recipe for extra dressing)
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Make sure your greens are rinsed and dried. Add them to a large wide salad bowl.
- Add the salmon to the center of the bowl. Surround it with the crumbled bacon, eggs, sliced onions (separate the rings as you add them) cheese, tomatoes, and avocado.
- To make the dressing shake the ingredients together in a mason jar until they combine into a creamy emulsion. Taste and adjust in any way you like.
- Dress the salad at the table, tossing it optional. I like to leave it as is, and let people serve themselves.
line a baking sheet with foil or parchment. Lay out the salmon and brush lightly with oil and season with salt. Bake for about 20 minutes, or just until the fish flakes. I sometimes add a squeeze of lemon or top the fish with a couple of slices of lemon before baking.
We love salmon!
- Blistered Corn and Asparagus Salad with Salmon
- Mediterranean Sheet Pan Salmon
- How to Eat Salmon Once a Week and Love it!