Quick & Easy Dinner: Cobb Salads

Whiny vegetarian moment: Why oh why do the main-dish salads at restaurants always only ever have chicken on them? It seems counter-intuitive to proclaim this, but vegetarians like salads too! I know, I know – I could ask them to leave the chicken off. But then basically I’m paying $14 for lettuce and almonds. Not cool.

Okay, fine. Fine restaurants! I’ll make my own salads at home! And then I’ll add chicken back but only as an optional addition for my beloved carnivore’s serving. And maybe a little bacon for him, too. But mine is a hearty veggie number with chickpeas and avocado and hard-boiled egg and sweet potatoes and it totally didn’t need chicken. So there.

Quick & Easy Dinner: Cobb Salads #1dish2ways

If you didn’t already guess, we’re talking Cobb salads made at home. They’re quick, they’re easy, they’re endlessly customizable, and they’re not $14 a whack.

We love Cobb salads as a quick and easy dinner. They’re super simple to throw together, perfect for tailoring to individual tastes, and they’re always fabulous. Have I sold you yet?!

Quick & Easy Dinner: Cobb Salads #1dish2ways

A traditional Cobb salad usually has the following toppings arranged over a base of chopped romaine:

  • Cooked, cubed chicken
  • Cooked, chopped bacon
  • Avocado
  • Chopped hard-boiled eggs
  • Tomatoes
  • Blue cheese (aka: bleu cheese, I have no idea which is proper)

For my vegetarian version, I, of course, omit the chicken and bacon and opt for one or two of these instead. If you’re vegan, swap out the eggs and cheese for a couple more from this list and you’ll be golden, too:

  • Chickpeas
  • Cooked seasoned lentils
  • White beans
  • Roasted sweet potatoes (or, as in the salad pictured, leftover spice-rubbed grilled sweet potatoes)
  • Roasted butternut squash
  • Sliced almonds
  • Sunflower seeds

All of those ingredients make for a hearty salad, so we like a light vinaigrette drizzled over the top. But some folks like to go for the gusto and prefer a creamy blue cheese. Whatever you want! We’re free of restaurant menu tyranny! Make this salad yours!

Quick & Easy Dinner: Cobb Salads #1dish2ways

Cobbs get creative

The sky’s the limit! Here are three great versions from around the web.

I adore the colors in this vegan Cobb from The Lunchbox Bunch :: Asian-Style Cobb Salad from Damn Delicious. Smart! :: I was totally going to create something like this but that darn brilliant Heather Christo beat me to it: Autumn Cobb Salad (with smoky pumpkin dressing!)

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Cobb Salad

The perfect hearty salad for dinner - and they come together in a flash. They're great for mixed-diet homes, too, as they can be customized for individual preferences.


Ingredients:

Cobb salad:



  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce


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  • Six of the following toppings:




    • Avocado

    • Chopped hard-boiled eggs

    • Tomatoes

    • Crumbled blue cheese

    • Chickpeas

    • Cooked seasoned lentils

    • White beans

    • Roasted cubed sweet potatoes

    • Roasted cubed butternut squash

    • Sliced almonds

    • Sunflower seeds



Vinaigrette dressing:



  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon or stone-ground mustard

  • 1/8 teaspoon vegetarian Worchestershire sauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


 


Directions:


  • Divide lettuce between two large plates. Arrange toppings over the lettuce, each in their own areas, in wedge shapes or in rows.

  • Place all the dressing ingredients in a mason jar. Screw on the lid and shake until blended. (Can also whisk together in a small bowl). Drizzle over both salads. Serve.


Adapted from Saveur


All images and text © for Kitchen Treaty.

Karen Raye

Kare is a vegetarian home cook living among carnivores. She loves creating irresistible and flexible recipes that help multi-vore families like hers keep the peace - deliciously.