You already know we feel weird about posting “recipes” for salads. I mean, what? “Wash vegetables. Chop. Toss with dressing.” You don’t really need a recipe for something that you can’t really get wrong, right?
Especially a Cobb Salad, since all of the ingredients are so plainly, obviously, clearly laid out on the plate. We can even alphabetize them! Avocado, bacon, blue cheese, chicken, cucumbers, eggs, lettuce, onions, parsley, tomatoes…Seems easy enough.
But I was wrong about getting a Cobb salad never-wrong. Or in this case, totally not right. A few weeks ago, we were out at a little gastropub up the street and ordered a Cobb salad, for which we were extremely excited since we had just been remarking how the place could really use a salad on their menu, especially for summer. We ordered it. Excited! A departure from the usual hot and heavy “pub food”of fried fish and chips, fried everything and burgers.
(Not that a Cobb salad is any better.)
But when the salad arrived at our table, I was beyond disappointed. Distraught. The salad was mostly lettuce, tossed with a “light vinaigrette, and well, the point is that it was “tossed.” For some reason, it isn’t a Cobb salad to me if the salad isn’t well-composed, ingredients laid out in perfect, polite little piles. Someone in the kitchen didn’t know how to make a Cobb salad; they got it all wrong.
And now, just after saying that, I’m about to do things to a Cobb salad that just shouldn’t be done.
Or maybe it should.
Cobb Salad in a summer roll with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette dipping sauce!
There probably isn’t a need to print out a full recipe for these. It’s just Cobb salad ingredients wrapped up in Vietnamese rice paper rolls. I was going to use Green Goddess dressing as the base for a dipping sauce like we did for the Green Goddess Summer Rolls, but Blue Cheese seems like a more natural fit (and means we can leave them out of the rolls themselves).
(And please, no comments about the gray egg yolks. I know. I’m traumatized. And I already have a session lined up next week my therapist to deal with it.)
Cobb Salad Summer Rolls
This list and set of instructions make approximately eight rolls, which is enough for 4 people. Or one. I highly recommend just making a lot more because you can eat this as it was originally intended, as a Cobb Salad, with whatever it leftover.
4 large rice paper wrappers, cut into 8 half-circles with kitchen shears
large avocado, cut into half lengthwise and sliced thinly
4 slices bacon, cooked and cut on slight bias into 2-inch wide juliennes
about 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced (had I thought ahead, I would have made long, thin cucumber ribbons, as we did here)
2 hard boiled eggs, cut lengthwise into 8 thin wedges
4 leaves green leaf or Romaine lettuce, ribs removed and sliced down the center into halves
handful of parsley leaves (or other herbs)
¼ red onion, sliced paper thin
1 large ripe tomato cut into thin wedges
Blue Cheese Vinaigrette Dip
Fill a large heat-safe bowl with very hot water (boiling water is fine, but just make sure it cools enough for you to stick your fingers in it). Place a damp kitchen towel on a cutting board as your “work surface.”
Dip ½ of a round rice paper wrapper in the water, and let it soak it until softened, about 1 minute. Remove the rice paper from the water and lay it flat on the towel with the straight (cut) edge at the top.
About one-third of the way in from one of the sides, place one-half of a lettuce leaf “up” with the ruffled edges slightly longer than the wrapper, and another one-half of a lettuce leaf “down” with the ruffled edges slightly longer than the bottom of the wrapper.
Place 2 slices of avocado, some julienned bacon, shredded chicken, sliced cucumber, 2 wedges of hard boiled egg, a few parsley leaves, red onion and a couple of tomato wedges.
Fold the wrapper over the contents, and carefully roll up as tightly as you can without tearing the wrapper. Place on a plate seam side down (to keep in sealed).
** note ** Most people roll up Summer/Spring rolls like an eggroll or a burrito, with the ends tucked in and the filling encased inside, but I love the way these Summer Rolls look with the contents peeking out from either end.
Serve Cobb Salad Summer Rolls immediately with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette Dipping Sauce.