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Tomato-Centric Cobb Salad

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Serves 4

  • by Elizabeth Falkner from Cooking Off the Clock

There's nothing wrong with the classic Cobb salad, but a few ingredient tweaks--more in-season tomatoes, the addition of tarragon, and a creamy blue cheese dressing instead of a vinaigrette plus cheese crumbles--makes this unforgettable.

  • 2 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 large croutons crumbled, or homemade bread crumbs, toasted in a skillet with olive oil, salt, and fresh rosemary or thyme
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 Tbs. crumbled blue cheese (such as Maytag or Point Reyes Blue)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into slices, or 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup arugula or mâche greens, or 8 leaves romaine lettuce, chopped into 3/4-inch-wide ribbons (chiffonade)
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 2 large Medium-Boiled Eggs, peeled and halved

Heat a small sauté pan over high heat. Add the bacon pieces to the hot pan and decrease the heat to low. Cook the bacon until crispy, then toss the croutons with the bacon and its rendered bacon fat; add a squeeze of lemon juice. Remove from the heat and set aside.

For the blue cheese dressing, combine the crème fraîche with the tarragon and blue cheese in a bowl and whisk until smooth; season with salt and pepper.

To assemble the salad, season the tomatoes with salt. Smear a large spoonful of the dressing onto each plate. Toss the greens in the remaining dressing and divide among the plates. Add the tomatoes, avocado slices, and 1 egg half to each plate. Top with the croutons and bacon and finish with some pepper. Serve immediately.

Photo: Frankie Frankeny

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