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.
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!