Classic Cobb Salad

The classic “there’s-a bit-of-everything-in-it” salad, this makes a big lunch or a satisfying dinner, especially on a hot summer night.  For a lower-fat version, substitute turkey bacon and light blue cheese and use only one avocado.  But aren’t these the fun part of a cobb salad anyway? So maybe just leave it just as it is, but eat a little less.

1/3 C red-wine vinegar
1 T Dijon-style mustard
Salt and pepper
2/3 C olive oil
½ C finely grated Roquefort or crumbled blue cheese of your choice
1-2 t sugar
½ head of romaine
½ head of Boston lettuce
1 small bunch of frisée (curly endive) (optional)
½ bunch of watercress, coarse stems discarded
All lettuces should be rinsed, spun or patted dry, and coarsely chopped
6 slices of bacon
2 ripe avocados, seed removed, peeled, and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 whole skinless boneless chicken breast (about ¾ pound), halved, cooked, and diced
1 tomato, seeded and chopped fine
2 hard-boiled large eggs, separated, the yolk finely chopped and the white finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

In a small bowl or food processor, whisk together the vinegar, the mustard, and salt and pepper to taste, add the oil in a slow stream, whisking, and whisk the dressing until it is emulsified. Stir in the Roquefort. Add sugar to taste, ½ teaspoon at a time. Whisk the dressing.

In a large salad bowl, toss together well the various lettuces and watercress. Cook the bacon in a skillet on medium heat until crisp on both sides. Remove from skillet and lay out on paper towels to absorb the excess fat. Allow the bacon to cool. Crumble the bacon and set aside.
Compose the salad. Toss the greens lightly with half the dressing. Arrange the chicken, the bacon, the tomato, and the avocado decoratively over the greens and garnish the salad with the grated egg and the chives. Serve immediately with remaining dressing on the side.

Serves 4.

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