Salads rank among my favorite meals, but I don’t make them very often. For whatever reason, there just seems to be too much prep work.
The Cobb Salad stands at the top of my list. Bob Cobb, owner of the famed Brown Derby Restaurant in Hollywood, got so so hungry one night in 1937 that he raided the refrigerator. Mr. Cobb found lettuce, avocado, romaine, tomatoes, cold chicken, a hard-boiled egg, cheese and French dressing in the ol’ icebox. Ta-dah, he created the classic Cobb and later added it to the Brown Derby menu.
Recently, I went to Bethany Beach’s Off the Hook restaurant, where they served a variation of the classic — a grilled asparagus Cobb salad. I was intrigued and decided to order it.
It was delicious. So, when I got home, I tried to recreate it. Not wanting to take the time to grill the asparagus or corn, I substituted steamed and canned, respectively. For the pickled red onion, I sliced the onion thinly and let it sit in a bowl with my favorite oil and vinegar-based salad dressing long enough to wilt.
Asparagus Cobb Salad Serves 4
½ pound shrimp, grilled or broiled
16 spears of asparagus, steamed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1 avocado, cubed
1 cup shoe peg corn
½ cup pickled red onion
6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
4 cups salad greens
Green Goddess Dressing (recipe below)
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
4 scallions, chopped
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
1/3 cup flat leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons chives, chopped
2 tablespoons tarragon, chopped
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
Assemble the ingredients and start with the salad greens. Then arrange the shrimp, asparagus, tomatoes, eggs, avocado onion and bacon each in its own section. Top it off with a drizzle of green goddess dressing. Just before serving toss the salad.
For the dressing, place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend together until it is smooth and green. Taste for seasoning.
The dressing can be made up to one week in advance, but bring it to room temperature before serving.