May 10, 2010
The confluence of two things have brought us here today, the start of Salad for Dinner Week here on One Hungry Mama:
1. I’ve gotten serious (again) about getting in shape. (We can consider this a continuation of my non-resolutions, right?)
2. I saw this recipe for Classic Cobb Salad on Smitten Kitchen about a month ago. It got me started on hearty dinner salads and I’ve been running with the inspiration ever since.
This week and, I’m sure, in the months to come, I’ll be featuring salads that can be served as a satisfying main entree (even to my Hungry crew!). And not just any hearty salad will do. When feeding young children—who rarely eat raw leafy greens—the salad needs to have healthy, hearty proteins that can be served as a kids meal on their own. Otherwise, you’re stuck making a separate meal for the little ones. No good. So, that’s my criteria. Because no salad is worth having to make two meals at the end of an exhausting day.
So let’s start with Cobb Salad. Delicious. Straight forward. Chock full of good stuff you can pull out to make a nutritious meal for your kids: eggs, avocado, chicken, cheese. Save the bacon for yourself. And you get extra points if you have a little one who’ll eat raw tomato!
Deb of Smitten Kitchen barely adapted her recipe from Saveur. I also barely adapted it (in different ways). Perfection.
Cobb Salad, barely adapted from Saveur
(can be adapted for kids 6+ mos)*
FOR THE DRESSING:
3/4 c canola oil
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp Worcestershire
1/4 tsp sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper
FOR THE SALAD:
6 strips bacon
4 chicken cutlets (or 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts)
salt and pepper
1 head romain lettuce, chopped
2 oz blue cheese, crumbled (I used Roquefort)
3 hard boiled eggs, quartered
2 medium tomatoes, chopped into 1/2″ cubes
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 Tbsp minced chives
1. Make the dressing: Combine the canola oil, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire, sugar and garlic in a blender. Purée the ingredients to make a smooth dressing and season with salt and pepper. Set the dressing aside (or refrigerate, covered, for up to 1 week).
2. Cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from skillet; set aside on paper towels. In the meantime, season chicken with salt and pepper and saute in the bacon fat. Once chicken is cooked through, cut into 1/2″ strips and roughly chop bacon.
3. Toss lettuce, bacon, chicken and all other remaining ingredients in a bowl with dressing, salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped chives.
*Note: Set aside and mash some avocado for eaters as young as 6 months. Slighter older children can also enjoy the blue cheese (if it’s pasteurized), eggs (just yolks or, if your child does not have an egg allergy, the whites, too) and chicken. You can puree some of these things together or, if your little one is an accomplished finger food eater, give them small pieces plain or drizzled with dressing.