Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mexican Cobb Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette

To be honest, I'm not sure that this qualifies as a "true" cobb salad.  I think a cobb salad technically requires some hard boiled eggs and bacon along with the tomatoes and avocado.  But we deviated already when giving it a Mexican flair, didn't we?  Oh well, if you're wanting something more authentically Brown Derby (the restaurant that invented the original Cobb salad in the 1930's), you can add those to the mix (see suggested extra toppings).  However you assemble it, the salad makes a great side to grilled chicken or enchiladas (although it's sturdy enough to make a meal of)!

Mexican Cobb Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette

Salad: (makes 8 side servings)
2 romaine lettuce hearts, washed, dried and cut/torn into bite-sized pieces (about 8-10 cups)
1/4 cilantro, chopped
2 roma tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained (about 1/2 of 15 oz can)
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
 kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
optional: chopped jicama, crumbled bacon, chopped hard boiled egg, crumbled cotija cheese...

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 large or 2 small limes)
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
           In a small bowl (preferably one that has a lid) whisk together lime juice, honey and cumin.  While continuing to whisk, slowly drizzle in vegetable oil in a thin stream, stirring until thoroughly combined.  Set aside while assembling the salad.  If dressing separates, you can put the lid on and shake it to remix right before pouring over the salad. 

Directions: Prepare dressing and set aside to allow flavors to meld while assembling the salad.  In a large salad bowl or on a platter, scatter lettuce.  Season the lettuce with a small amount of kosher salt and ground pepper (seasoning the greens directly makes a huge difference in flavor--give it a try in this recipe and your other salads!).  Sprinkle cilantro and remaining toppings over top of lettuce.  Just before serving, drizzle dressing over top and toss to combine.   

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