This Cobb Salad from the fine folks at Food52 claims to be a rebellious kiss off to the more traditional Cobb Salad. And sure, perhaps it is. Normally a classic Cobb Salad would have tomatoes, chicken (or turkey), bacon, and iceberg lettuce. So, I suppose this is a nice riff on the Cobb Salad, wherein the beets stand in for all things meat based, olives make a briny appearance, and the dressing has eggs blended right into it, rather than just having your hard-boiled eggs scattered across the top of your shredded lettuce and cubed chicken.
Bonus: The beets get their own vinegar infusion during the steaming process. So while they are not truly pickled beets (a favorite around these here parts), they have a little zing to them. Which I always appreciate. And I love me some rich and creamy blue cheese. Especially next to the zingy and sweet beets and the salty olives. And don't look too closely at the pictures, because then you will see that I am not a huge fan of lettuce--Bibb, iceberg, romaine, or otherwise. A salad, in my book, should be more topping than leaf.
This is a fine weeknight meal, especially if you steam up these beets the night before and just have them hanging out in your refrigerator. You might as well do that with the hard- (or soft-) boiled eggs, just to cut down on cooking time. You don't need a recipe, per se, but you still need dinner on a Tuesday night. Why not this little twist?
Cobb Salad with Hard-Boiled Egg DressingAdapted from Mighty Salads and recipe here
¼ cup white wine vinegar
4 large red beets, scrubbed well, trimmed, and halved (I didn't halve them. Everything turned out okay)
1 large head Bibb lettuce, torn into large pieces
⅓ cup loosely packed fresh tarragon, dill or chives, coarsely chopped
4 hard-cooked eggs, quartered
1 large avocado, thinly sliced
⅓ cup Niçoise or Kalamata olives, pitted
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 hard-boiled egg plus 1 hard-boiled yolk
Grated zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon capers
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Red pepper flakes
1. In a large saucepan, bring 2 inches of water, the vinegar and a good bit of kosher salt to a boil over high heat. Put the beets in a steamer basket and set the basket over the boiling water. Cover, lower heat to medium and steam until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife, about 20-30 minutes (depending on the size of your beets and whether or not you remembered to halve them). Let cool, then peel and cut into bite-size pieces.
2. To make the dressing, blend all of the dressing ingredients together until smooth and emulsified (stand or immersion blender are both fine). Add salt and red pepper flakes to taste.
3. On a large platter or wide bowl, toss together the lettuce and half the herbs. Add enough dressing to lightly coat the leaves, and toss again. Arrange the beets, eggs, avocado, olives and cheese on top. To be traditional, you should put the toppings in rows. Scatter the remaining herbs. (You can also toss everything together.) Serve with the remaining dressing on the side.