Confession: I didn't even know what Cobb salad was until I saw the movie Julie and Julia a year or two ago. Last week I finally got around to googling a recipe. Since I've never met a recipe I didn't modify, I came up with my own twist. My thinking is that if a recipe already includes avocado, bacon, and egg, it will be just fine without chicken. Instead I decided to add some Creole-seasoned lentils, which added a really nice depth of flavor and another texture.
Mary's Cobb Salad
Preparation Time: 40 minutes
- 1/2 pound bacon, diced
- 1/2 cup dry lentils
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon Tony Chacheres Creole seasoning ( or substitute 1/2 tsp paprika and 1/2 tsp salt)
- 4 eggs, hard-boiled
- 1 pound salad greens (I used half iceberg lettuce and half spinach)
- 1 grated carrot
- 2 avocados, diced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
Dice bacon and fry in a heavy skillet over medium heat until crispy. Set aside to drain. Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon grease in a small bowl. Wipe the rest of the grease out of the skillet. Return reserved grease to the skillet and add the lentils, tossing until coated. Add two cups of water and the Creole seasoning and cook lentils on medium low until they are just beginning to soften, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from heat when done. (If you wish you may cook lentils ahead of time, and refrigerate until you need them. They can be added to the salad either warm or cold.)
While the lentils cook, hard-boil the eggs, then let cool submerged in ice water. Dice avocado and toss with lemon juice to keep them from getting dark. Grate carrot and chop tomato.
In a very large shallow serving bowl (or on a platter with at least a 1-inch rim) combine salad greens, carrots, tomatoes, feta cheese, and avocado. Toss with Italian dressing. When eggs are cool, peel and quarter them. Arrange them across the top of the salad. Sprinkle salad with cooked lentils and bacon. Serve, with additional salad dressing on the side, if desired.