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Winter Fruit Cobb Salad with Lemon-Poppyseed Dressing

Servings: 4 as a main course or 6 as a side

This colorful composed salad is loosely based on the one created by Robert Howard Cobb in the 1930s at his Hollywood restaurant, the Brown Derby. Thinly sliced Asian pears and juicy pomegranate seeds add sweetness, and take the place of traditional hard-cooked egg and tomato. Save any leftover dressing for sandwiches, pasta, or salads.


For the dressing

  • 1-1/2 cups mayonnaise, either plain or avocado, such as Sir Kensington’s
  • 6 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 packed tsp. light brown sugar
  • 3 tsp. poppyseeds
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 8 oz. green beans, such as haricots vert, trimmed
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 oz. slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch lardons
  • 1 heart romaine (about 8 oz.), trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide ribbons, or 2 heads baby gem lettuce (about 10 oz. total), cut lengthwise into quarters
  • 1-1/2 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 medium Asian pears (about 1 lb.), quartered, cored, and sliced into thin wedges
  • 2 medium Hass avocados, halved, pitted, and sliced into wedges
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (from about 1 medium pomegranate)
  • Flaky sea salt, for serving


Make the dressing

  • In a bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and sugar, and stir in the poppyseeds. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make the salad

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment, and set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic, and cook, tossing, until fragrant and golden, about 21/2 minutes. Add the green beans and 1/2 cup water to the pan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat; then uncover and cook, tossing occasionally, until the water has evaporated and the beans are crisp-tender. Discard the garlic. Season the beans to taste with salt and pepper, transfer to a plate, and let cool.
  • Put the bacon pieces on the prepared baking sheet, transfer to the oven, and cook, tossing occasionally, until crisp, 18 to 20 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
  • Put the lettuce in a large bowl, and toss with enough dressing to coat, then pile onto a large, shallow salad bowl or platter. Spoon the chickpeas across the lettuce on one edge. Next, make a row with the green beans and then a row with the bacon. Add a row of pear slices. Place the avocados in a row on the end. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds over the avocados.
  • Generously spoon some of the remaining dressing on top of the chickpeas. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Serve, passing the remaining dressing at the table.


Rate or Review

Reviews (3 reviews)

  • pstaubs | 01/20/2020

    Delicious. Satisfying meal -- absolutely amazing. The dressing was perfect! Will be making again and again.

  • VAPAT | 01/30/2019

    This was a big hit among our friends tonight. I worried the mayonnaise dressing would just taste like mayonnaise but the additional ingredients made it very tasty. Of course having different components arrayed on a platter is not only attractive but enables folks to choose mostly what they like.
    There was one peculiarity--the picture of the romaine didn't match the instructions to cut into 1/4" strips which seems really tiny. I just cut and ripped the lettuces into bite-sized pieces.

  • Stardust4300 | 01/30/2019

    Love LOVE LOVE this salad. I always keep these ingredients on hand. I'm a fan of adding the Asian Pears and pomagranite seeds! The only thing different, I will make a raspberry vinegarette occasionally. Thank you !!

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