I have always loved the Cobb salad for is unabashed declaration of “yes, I am composed of every item in your refrigerator and still call myself a salad.” Even so, when I was younger, the wedged iceberg lettuce version with blue cheese crumbles and blue cheese dressing always had me turning to other options as I could never get past the odor that blue cheese puts off. Now that I am older and more refined (ie my taste buds and olfactory sensors are in decline) I am able to appreciate the finer quality of a mild blue cheese. Through experimentation I have found that the je ne sais quoi taste of blue cheese combine with a little balsamic vinegar (and a splash of ranch) makes for a lovely combination.
PSA When making this recipe your house will smell like bacon farts… just keep that in mind if you are having guests over.
What You Need
2-4 organic free range eggs (depending on how many you like to have on your salad- I usually go for 2 on mine)
4-8 slices of organic uncured bacon (I like Applegate, organic No Sugar uncured and the amount depends on how much you’d like to share with your dinner partner)
4- 8 ounces organic Black Forest ham, sandwich sliced
1/2 small red onion
1-2 small ripe avocados
Blue Cheese (as mild or strong as you would like, I use Organic Oregon Blue* Mild; optional if Paleo)
Ranch Dressing (I like Toby’s Ranch in the refrigerated section of the grocery store*- can choose a Paleo option like Primal Kitchen offers )
Balsamic Vinegar (I like Aperö’s Fig Balsamic Vinegar*)
4 handfuls of organic spinach (or lettuce of choice)
What You Do
Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.
Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and tear off one long sheet that is a little longer than baking sheets length.
Place bacon strips, side by side with about 1/2 inch or more space, on baking sheet. Cover with long sheet of foil, creating a dome over the top with spaces on either side open for venting (the aluminum foil should not be as wide as the baking sheet, if it is curl up the sides to create openings.
Put in oven (don’t worry if it hasn’t come to temp yet, just pay attention to the time when it does reach 400). When oven reaches temp, set timer for about 15-25 minutes, depending on how thick your bacon is. The goal is very crispy bacon, but you can determine the level of crispness you desire.
Take a medium pot out, fill it about 3/4 of the way with water, add some salt to it, and put it on high heat to bring to a boil. Once at a boil, add the eggs and set a timer for 10 minutes.
While waiting for the bacon and the eggs, prep your accoutrement. On a cutting board:
Chop your black forest ham
Slice your avocados
Slice your cherry tomatoes (desired amount, I usually have about 3)
Dice your red onion
Crumble your blue cheese
Wash and spin your spinach
Once the eggs are done, remove them from water onto a paper towel (I usually put them in a paper towel lined bowl so they don’t roll off the counter) and let them cool off.
Take out 2 large bowls. Add a handful or two of spinach, then add desired amount of black forest ham, cherry tomato, red onion, avocado and blue cheese.
Once eggs are cool enough to handle them (may need to rinse them under cold water if still too hot), de-shell them and chop them and add desired amount to salad.
By now your bacon should be nice and crispy. Remove from the oven, and put each slice on a plate with paper towels on it to remove excess grease and help them cool down.
While waiting for bacon to cool, take balsamic vinegar and drizzle over top of salad (desired amount). Next, take a dollop of ranch drizzle over salad.
Once bacon is cool enough to touch, take desired amount and crumble over top of salad. Boom. Your salad is ready to eat! Enjoy!
*These items are local to Oregon, so may not be in your local grocery store. Its fun trying new ingredients and supporting local business, just make sure to read labels for unhealthy ingredients and preservatives.
Check on the bacon after about 15 minutes (after oven has come to temp), and then about every 2-5 if it isn’t ready yet (2 minuets if it is close to desired crispiness and 5 if not there yet). Also, make more bacon than you think you will eat because it tends to disappear fast. Lastly, wait until water has come to a full boil prior to putting eggs in; the 10 minutes after boiling point makes the perfect Cobb salad egg (ie not runny in the middle, but not rubber either).