Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cool Composed Concoction: Cobb Salad with Grilled Onion Blue Cheese Dressing

So ... what’s the weather like in your area? Are you having the most bizarre winter, too? Poor Kentucky ... what a mess it is there. I talked with my brother in law in North Carolina this morning, and he reported that the forecast predicted snow for today as well as 70 degrees this weekend. Jumping back to my neck of the woods, a typical Pacific Northwest Oregon February day should mean monotonous gray skies, seemingly endless drizzle, and a steady temperature of 42 degrees. Wet grass, wet pavement, wet vehicles, wet, wet, wet. However, in the bizarre land of winter 2009, today’s sunrise proclaimed a crisp 28 degrees with frosty frozen grass and wind shields. By 3:00 this afternoon, it was SUNNY and the mercury shouted out 60 degrees! I don’t know what parallel universe I’ve landed in, but I’m happy to be here.

The change in weather dictated a change in lunch plans. To compliment the sun shining through my windows, a lovely hearty salad seemed in order. It’s been eons since I crunched on that glorious cool, composed concoction called Cobb Salad, and so of course that’s what graced my lunch plate today. So without further ado, here’s today’s recipe.

Cobb Salad

Lettuce – about 6 cups worth (use what you like: Bibb, butter, iceberg, romaine)
5 strips bacon – cooked crisp and crumbled
Diced tomatoes – I used about ½ cup of the little grape ones cut in half
½ cup crumbled blue cheese – I used an Oregon cheese
1 cup cooked diced chicken breast – I used left over grilled chicken
3 hard boiled eggs – chopped
1 avocado – diced

Makes 4 servings. In an oversized salad bowl, place all the lettuce. In a decorative fashion, line up the remaining ingredients so they appear in long strips on top of the lettuce. Serve with your favorite dressing, vinaigrette, or oil and vinegar. I served it with the following dressing that just about made me swoon. Yeah. It’s that good. It’s adapted from a Michael Chiarello recipe. Thank you, Michael. My taste buds love you.

Grilled Onion Blue Cheese Dressing

½ a large sweet onion, cut into ½ inch thick circles (keep together)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Sea Salt and Black Pepper
Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 cup mayo
½ cup sour cream
½ cup buttermilk (I used more)
1 teaspoon hot sauce (like Tabasco. I used Tapatio.
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup blue cheese – (I didn’t want to add more because there is already blue cheese in the salad.)

Preheat a grill (you could do this on a stove top grill pan, too). Season the onion slices with olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and Mont. Steak Seasoning. Grill over med high heat 5 minutes. Carefully flip and grill other side another 5 minutes.Remove and let cool. When cool, cut into medium sized dice. While the onions are grilling and cooling, prepare the rest of the dressing. In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Stir in the diced grilled onions. Done. It makes a ton of dressing; I just used about 2 generous tablespoons on my serving.Just look at how pretty this salad is! This is a main dish concoction and is very, very filling.I love that large avocado chunk. The smoky crunch of the bacon was lovely, and the chicken tasted superb with the blue cheese. The creaminess of the avocado was a nice contrast to the crisp lettuce, and, well, you know how I feel about eggs. The bright red tomatoes brought both color and flavor to the party. Every bite just expounded flavor. I love this salad. I like it with oil and vinegar as well as with a more traditional dressing. Today, I’m glad I went with a dressing. Hands down, the star of the show was this salad dressing. I’ve always made my own blue cheese dressing, however, adding the grilled onions really ramped this puppy up several notches. I will forever and always add grilled onions to my blue cheese dressing. YUM. Oh, and like most of the recipes at It's All Gouda, this is gluten free all the way, baby!


Tatersmama said...

Ogh yum yum yum !!!
It's due to hit 104+F here today, so want to guess what we'll be having for dinner tonight? :-)
I can't wait!

Tatersmama said...

See? I was so excited to find this recipe, that I misspelled "Oh".
"Doh" :-)

dp said...

The weather has been bizarre indeed! I'm perpetually cold, being from Vegas, but today I was actually warm and I didn't even have a jacket on.

I had a salad for lunch too!

Manggy said...

Oh, how strange! And who says there's no global warming?! Great opportunity for a lovely salad, though :) I am totally going to remember to add onions on my next dressing too!

Mediterranean kiwi said...

this is defitnitely me Paula, every day of the week, i could cook like that, especially if i had someone doing my onions like yours - the last thing i have time for when i'm working is to wash, rinse, trim and chop things (i make an exception to a fresh pomegranate every evening)

Bellini Valli said...

I am already trying to bring the summer into our cold Canadian winter with BBQ's and salads. A little reminder of what's to come never hurts with this delicious classic:D

Marjie said...

60 Degrees! Be quiet!

We got down to 7 overnight, and it's supposed to get to a blisteringly hot 18 degrees today! But maybe 40 by next Monday. Can you send some global warming my way?

That is one pretty salad. I'll bet even the Picky Eaters Club liked it!

Grace said...

i love alliteration and everything about your salad. :)

Maria said...

what a gorgeous salad!!I love the avocado chunks too!

Cheryl said...

Wasnt yesterday insane, I loved every minute of it! That salad looks so yummy, but I am far too lazy to make it, can you bring me one :)

Pam said...

Oh Paula. The cobb salad is my very favorite - the grilled onion dressing sounds AMAZING! I can't wait to try this one.

noble pig said...

Oh wow, I love a Cobb...look at all that decadent! What a lunch. The weather has been weird in oregon and in California...kind of everywhere.

Kevin said...

That salad looks nice and hearty and so good!

Jan said...

Oooh now I'm loving the sound of grilled onions with a blue cheese dressing! That all looks amazing!

The Blonde Duck said...

That looks really tasty! Yum!

It'll be 76 today!

Cathy said...

This weather is crazy isn't it? Looks like we are back to normal now.

A Cobb is one of my favorites. I love the combination of flavors and textures. Your onion dressing sounds wonderful, Paula.

Lynda said...

Your salad looks wonderful, especially with that dressing! We had about 5 or 6 days with ice and snow on the ground, but the last 2 days have been in the 60's!The weather in Mo. is never stable. I,m enjoying your blog, so I left you some awards at my blog!

OhioMom said...

Cold and snow here, with a warm-up coming this weekend .. your lovely picture has me dreaming of Spring days and fresh lettuce salads :)

Jan said...

Until moving to the US I had never eaten Cobb salad, and have to say they are delectable. Yours sounds scrummy, as does the blue cheese dressing.

It sounds like Kentucky got an ice storm like we did last year. Some people were without power for over 3 weeks, it was awful. We got ice and snow last week, but not as bad this time, thank goodness.

Elra said...

The only thing I never tried is the "grit", sounds so tempting all of this meal.

Joe and Laurie said...

I've never made my own dressing--until now! Just licking my fingers, it tastes so good and is really easy to make! I can't wait until my husband gets home so we can have this salad for lunch. Thanks for the great recipe! I'm so glad I stumbled upon food blogs--it helps me fulfill my New Years Resolution to make one new-to-me meal each week!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Paula, Wow does that look good!!and I absolutely love the sound of that dressing! Love your photo's too!

Paula said...

Hi Everyone!

Tatersmama: Hope the temps cool off over there! If you had the salad, hope you liked it!

Dp: It's been such a temperature roller coaster; glad we had some sun yesterday.

Manggy: The onions were AWESOME! I'm going to add them from now on!

Med Kiwi: Boy oh boy do I hear you about prep work! Luckily for me, I had most of this stuff at the ready, and really only had to assemble and eat.

Belli Valli: I am soooo ready for summer. It might snow here this week!

Marjie: My kids didn't touch this! They eat their salads PLAIN with no dressing. But hubbyman and I like it!

Grace: I have a *thing* about words!

Maria: I love avocado, so I left the chunks bigger!

Cheryl: This would be a great salad to share ... come on over and bring a big appetite!

Pam: It was so good! I can't praise the dressing enough!

Noble Pig: The weather looks like it's going to be wild this week, too! Time for another salad!

Kevin: It was a great meal; beautiful to look at and very filling!

Jan: I just love this dressing!

Duckie: 76! You are a lucky duck! :-)

Cathy: I love this salad. I'm going to try a Crab Louis next time; it reminds me of our coast!

Lynda: Thank you so much for the award! I've tried to respond at your site, but it gives me an error message! I'll keep trying!

Ohio Mom: You midwest folks sure have gotten hit hard this winter! Come on spring!

Jan: 3 weeks without power! UGH! I'm so ready for spring and summer and fresh garden produce!

Elra: Thanks for stopping by! The grits in the spicy sausage and shrimp recipe are creamy, but they are still definitely grits. Rice would be a great substitute!

Joe and Laurie: Oh, your note made me so happy! I'm so glad you liked the dressing, and hope you enjoyed the salad, too.

Proud Italian: Thanks! I just love the onions in the dressing. I can't believe how much it improved the overall flavor.

Peter M said...

I love the rainbow of ingredients in the Cobb but those grilled onions...heaven!

Amanda said...

Oh my gosh! That looks amazing!

Aggie said...

Gosh...where have I been!? I can't believe I missed this salad...that salad dressing sounds to die for!