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Recipe

Spinach Cobb Salad with Bacon, Blue Cheese, Avocado & Derby Dressing

Alexandra Grablewski

Yield: Yields 1/2 cup dressing

Servings: 4 or 5

Fresh spinach isn’t traditional in the classic Cobb salad, born at The Brown Derby restaurant in LA many decades ago, but it’s a delicious addition. What’s not to like about blue cheese, bacon, avocados, and tomatoes? With the hard-boiled eggs, you can call this supper. The salad can be served family-style, arranged in one big bowl, or you could make individual composed salads for a more formal dinner; in that case, dress the ingredients separately before arranging them.

Ingredients

For the dressing

  • 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. red-wine vinegar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 1-1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes (about 8 oz.)
  • 2 ribs celery, finely sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 oz. baby spinach, stemmed if necessary, washed and dried
  • 3 oz. Bibb lettuce (about 1 small head) or inner leaves of Boston lettuce, washed and dried
  • 1/4 cup sliced fresh chives (cut into 1-inch lengths)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced
  • 4 oz. Roquefort or other good-quality blue cheese, crumbled
  • 8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

Preparation

Make the dressing

  • Put all the ingredients (including several grinds of fresh pepper) in a liquid measure and whisk vigorously. (Or use a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well.)

Make the salad

  • Have ready one large shallow serving bowl (about 13 to 14 inches across and 3 to 4 inches deep is nice).
  • Peel, pit, and dice the avocados. Put them in a mixing bowl along with the grape tomatoes and celery. Season with a pinch of salt, drizzle with 1 Tbs. of the dressing, and toss very gently.
  • Combine the spinach, Bibb lettuce, and half of the chives in a big mixing bowl. Season lightly with salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Drizzle and toss with about 3 Tbs. of the dressing (taste and add more if you like). Transfer the greens to the serving bowl.
  • Mound the avocado mixture in the center of the greens. Arrange the egg slices in a circle around the avocado mixture. Sprinkle the blue cheese in a circle around the egg slices. Lastly, sprinkle the bacon around the blue cheese, leaving a few greens peeking out around the edges of the bowl. Drizzle most or all of the remaining dressing over everything and garnish with the remaining chives. Bring to the table with tongs and plates to serve.

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