Finally, temperatures have dropped! Instead of 95 degrees, today it’s 85, and it feels better. Everything is relative. I’ve been in a salad mode lately, and last week I made a Cobb Salad with shrimp. I loved it, but Jim is not a fan of shrimp so yesterday I made it with chicken, and it got a big thumbs up. All I know about a Cobb Salad is that it was invented by a California restauranteur named Mr. Cobb, and that it always includes bacon, hard-boiled eggs and avocados. The rest is up to you. This is a delicious main dish salad, a lot of which can be made ahead and thrown together at the last moment. Here are the how to’s.
Cobb Salad with Chicken
pre-cooked bacon bits
1 to 2 seasoned boneless chicken breasts, sautéed until golden
juice of one lemon
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic, put through garlic press
1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 small washed heads of Romaine lettuce
1 cup shredded carrots
2 small tomatoes, sliced
4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
freshly cracked pepper
Line a big salad bowl with leaves of the lettuce. Spoon the shredded carrots, sliced tomatoes, sliced hard-boiled eggs, and sliced avocado in mounds on top of the lettuce. Evenly slice the cooked chicken breast, and arrange it on the salad. Mix together the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, pressed garlic, salt and olive oil. Pour over salad. Sprinkle the bacon pieces over the whole salad, and strew with the freshly cracked pepper. Garnish with fresh basil, if you have it. Serves two to three.
An average carrot will yield about 3/4 to 1 cup grated carrot. Exact amount not crucial!
Making notes: I served this with Wasa whole grain crackers, Irish butter, and some freshly sliced watermelon. And a chilled white wine. Provide two large spoons, and everyone spoons up what they want. You may already be able to think of variations: shrimp instead of the chicken was delicious.
And now for something completely different! It’s Monarch butterfly season and I am taking care of some caterpillars. We raised and released two Monarchs last summer; this year we have twelve! There’s something incredibly fun about it–watching the eggs hatch, and then the caterpillars buzz sawing their way through mounds of fresh milkweed leaves. We can’t help naming them, which is ridiculous, I know. Here are the three biggest: Chomper, Muncher and Nibbler.