The same flavors in a more vegetable-forward format
Shrimp Cobb Salad with Bacon Dressing
Credit: Antonis Achilleos

I’ve never been a huge fan of a Cobb salad. In part, because the traditional toppings are just sort of not my preferred flavors. I like the idea of a Cobb, a composed salad is always fun, and anytime you can put meat and bacon on my salad I’m all in. But as someone who eschews hard boiled eggs, raw tomatoes, avocado and blue cheese, by the time I order a Cobb salad without all of that, servers are about to pull out their hair, and I’m reasonably sure someone in the kitchen is going to be calling me something unkind.

And yet, I’m often drawn to the Cobb, at least in theory, because a salad like that is hearty and satisfying, and can land in a sort of virtuous place without making me feel deprived. So, what is a girl to do? Enter my sandwich to salad trick.

Fundamentally, a Cobb salad is really just a tricked out deconstructed Club Sandwich, so why not take other sandwiches I love and convert them into a version of a Cobb?

It started with a Reuben. Chopped corned beef, cubed swiss, a little bit of sauerkraut and some rye croutons on top of a bed of escarole with Russian dressing, and you have a Reuben salad that is wonderfully delicious.

Watch: How to Make a Sheet Pan Cobb Salad Pizza

One of my favorite local Greek restaurants makes a traditional salad topped with Gyros meat, so I made one that was just a bit more organized, with a bed of romaine dressed with red wine vinegar, olive oil and oregano, topped with tomato, onion, feta, olives and gyros meat, with a healthy dollop of tzatziki. The creamy yogurt sauce blends with the lightly dressed lettuce to make a salad anointment that is really extra special without being at all difficult.

If you love an Italian style sub, try shredded iceberg or romaine topped with cubes of salami, mortadella, provolone or mozzarella with some chopped tomato and crispy prosciutto, dressed with a classic Italian dressing.

Have you gotten into the recent Chicken Sandwich debates? Iceberg lettuce topped with chopped fried chicken tenders, brioche croutons, and dill pickle cubes is ranch dressing’s new favorite salad to hang out with.

A bahn mi fan? Top the greens of your choice with cubed roasted pork or chicken, cucumber, pickled carrots and daikon, and cilantro leaves, with some baguette croutons if you are feeling fancy, and dress with a simple mix of lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and minced chilis or red pepper flakes.

You can even do an interesting riff on a PB&J by topping your greens with roasted peanuts, dried cherries, chopped bacon and croutons and dressing with poppyseed dressing or raspberry vinaigrette.

Whatever sandwich you are craving, there is likely a salad opportunity right behind!