I know what you’re thinking. “A salad? All the fuss of starting a new blog and you lead off with a mere salad? Where is the skill? Where is the artistry? Where, and I mean this literally, is the beef?”
If it means anything, I intended to roll out with a bigger splash. A magnificent roast with all the trimmings, perhaps? A delicate tart with neo-Gothic spires of meringue and puff pastry flying buttresses? Alas, it’s been damn hot for the last few days and the last thing I wanted to do on a sunny Sunday afternoon was stand in a sweltering kitchen just to come up with that special dish to feed my new blog baby.
In my defense, this is a really, really good salad. It’s hard to beat a combination that includes crispy bacon, fresh tomatoes and avocados and juicy roast chicken, consumed in a patch of sunlight on a July afternoon.
Quasi Cobb Salad (adapted from the Gourmet cookbook)
- 1 ½ tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large chicken breast, bone in and skin on
- 1 large ripe avocado
- 4 slices of thick-cut bacon
- 8-10 whole cherry tomatoes
- About 4 Cups of romaine or crisp green or red lettuce leaves, shredded
- Combine all dressing ingredients except oil in a clean empty jar and shake to blend Add oil and shake vigorously until emulsified.
- Brush chicken with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place skin side up on a foil-covered baking sheet and bake in a 450F oven for 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp, drain on paper towels and then chop.
- Once chicken is done, remove from oven and let cool on a rack or plate for 10 minutes or so. Transfer to a cutting board, remove skin (which should be nice and crispy) and chop. Take the meat off the bone using a fork (or your fingers) and shred.
- Peel, pit and chop the avocado into large chunks.
- Combine chicken, avocado, bacon, tomatoes and lettuce in a large salad bowl and toss with a couple tablespoons of dressing and serve.