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Cobb Salad

James Carrier
Yield Makes 4 to 6 main-dish servings
Notes: Apple wood-smoked bacon adds especially rich flavor to this salad. Use leftover cooked chicken or buy roast chicken from a deli. Choose a pungent blue cheese such as Oregon blue, Roquefort, or gorgonzola.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound sliced bacon (see notes), coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tarragon-flavor vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • About 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
  • About 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 quart lightly packed watercress sprigs (4 oz.), rinsed and crisped
  • 5 quarts finely shredded lettuce (use half butter lettuce and half iceberg or all iceberg)
  • 2 firm-ripe tomatoes (2/3 lb. total), rinsed, cored, and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced skinned cooked chicken (7 oz.; see notes)
  • 2/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (3 oz.; see notes)
  • 2 hard-cooked large eggs, shelled and chopped
  • 1 firm-ripe avocado (1/2 lb.), halved, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced crosswise

Nutrition Information

  • calories 458
  • caloriesfromfat 71 %
  • protein 25 g
  • fat 36 g
  • satfat 10 g
  • carbohydrate 12 g
  • fiber 3.5 g
  • sodium 768 mg
  • cholesterol 129 mg

How to Make It

  1. In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, stir bacon often until browned and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes; spoon out and discard fat in pan as it accumulates. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to towels to drain; discard remaining fat in pan.

  2. In a 1-cup glass measure or small bowl, mix olive oil, vinegar, mustard, shallot, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

  3. Set aside 4 to 6 watercress sprigs; coarsely chop remaining sprigs. In a large bowl, combine chopped watercress and lettuce. Add all but 2 tablespoons dressing and mix gently to coat.

  4. Arrange equal portions of lettuce mixture in wide, shallow bowls. On each, in pie-shaped wedges, arrange equal portions of bacon, tomatoes, chicken, blue cheese, eggs, and avocado.

  5. Spoon remaining dressing evenly over toppings. Garnish salads with reserved watercress sprigs. Add salt and pepper to taste.