If you’ve ever had a Cobb Salad before, I think you’d agree that the most compelling parts of the salad are the melange of textures and tastes presented in a colorful rainbow on top of the salad. That’s why I’ve taken the toppings of a Cobb and stuffed them into a lettuce leaf for a hand-held potluck appetizer, or a plated salad course that’s as delicious as it is fun to eat.
A Cobb is relatively straight forward and most of the effort is spent on preparing each topping, but there are three key things to get right. The first is that you don’t want to overcook the chicken. Chicken breasts can easily turn dry and pasty if they are overcooked, which is why I’ve outlined my poaching method to gently cook the chicken.
The second key point is to make sure the bacon is fully crisped. You want the bacon to be a crisp smoky boost to the salad, not a chewy gristly drag.
Lastly, be sure the boiled eggs are cooked long enough to fully set the yolks, but not so long that the yolks turn green. Check out my post on Perfect Boiled Eggs for a explanation on how to consistently get the kind of eggs you want.
The toppings for this Cobb Salad Wrap can all be prepared ahead of time, leaving only the assembly when you’re ready to serve them. I’ve mirrored a more traditional Cobb in the presentation, but if you need to make a large batch, you can just toss all the topping ingredient together with the dressing and spoon the salad into the lettuce cups.
Cobb Salad Wrap
- For Salad
- 1 head butter lettuce
- 7 ounces chicken tenders
- 6 slices crisped bacon, crumbled
- 3 hard boiled eggs, white and yolk chopped separately
- 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 avocado, chopped and drizzled with lemon juice
- 4.3 ounces cherry tomatoes
- 5 grams chives, about 14 sprigs finely chopped
- For dressing
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon grated garlic
- black pepper, to taste
- Soak the butter lettuce in a bowl of cold water to crisp while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Add 4 cups of water along with 2 teaspoons of salt to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then add the chicken. When the water returns to a boil, turn off the heat and let the chicken poach until it's cooked through (about 4-6 minutes). You can check to see if the chicken is done by removing a piece and cutting it in half, it should be opaque and no long pink on the inside. When the chicken is cooked, plunge it in cold water to stop the cooking. Chop the chicken into small bite-size pieces.
- Prepare all the other ingredients.
- To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, grated garlic and black pepper.
- Drain the lettuce leaves and dry thoroughly.
- To assemble, you can line the chicken, bacon, egg whites, egg yolks, blue cheese, avocado, and tomatoes up on each leaf of lettuce and drizzle with the dressing, or you can toss the toppings together with the dressing and fill the lettuce cups. Garnish each lettuce cup with a sprinkle of chives.
Yield: Makes 8-10 wraps
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.