This has to be one of my all-time favorite salads, because of the unrestrained variety of flavors and textures. Traditionally a Cobb Salad is made with chicken, but I use grilled beef because I prefer a little more substance. I lay out the ingredients in the traditional manner, in rows on a bed of lettuce. You can, of course, toss everything together and not bother with this special presentation. the flavors and textures would certainly be the same, but sometimes the striking composition of an finished dish is reward enough for the extra trouble.
1 shallot, minced
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
1-1/3 cups peeled and diced red
and yellow tomatoes
8 cups mesclun mix
8 slices proscuitto, juilienned
16 quail eggs, soft-boiled,
peeled, and quartered
1-1/3 cups diced avocado
8 ounces beef tenderloin, grilled,
cooled, and diced
1-1/3 cups crumbled blue cheese
12 grilled scallions, chilled and chopped
4 tablespoons 1-inch pieces chives
To prepare the vinaigrette: Place the shallot, and lemon juice, in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, fold in the chopped chives, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To prepare the tomatoes: Toss the diced tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To prepare the greens: Toss the mesclun mix with half of the vinaigrette and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Arrange some of the mesclun greens to create a bed in the center of each plate. Arrange some of the proscuitto in a vertical line along the far left side of the greens. Next to the proscuitto, arrange some of the quail eggs, avocado, tomatoes, beef tenderloin, blue cheese, and scallions each in individual vertical lines to completely cover the mesclun mix. Top with freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with the chive pieces. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the salad.
This is a fun salad to eat and requires a fun wine. Strict flavor pairing is not always needed; sometimes eating and drinking for pure enjoyment is in order. Try a fruit forward style of Merlot like Robert Sinskey Vineyards or Cuvaison, both from the Napa Valley.
The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter
By Charlie Trotter
Ten Speed Press
Publication Date: January 1999
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created April 1999
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