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DigiBites: A Cool Summer Salad With A Point Reyes Touch

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Chef Charlie/The Epicurean Exchange

Orinda’s Chef Charles “Charlie” Vollmar is soldiering through the limitations imposed by our Shelter-In-Place guideline and doing what he does best – cooking – and hand-delivering his creations to customers in Lamorinda and beyond.

Chef Charlie

Check him out. And if you’re stumped for a meal, dial him up online.

Chef Charlie’s Summer Cobb Salad with Point Reyes Blue Vinaigrette

Hollywood’s Brown Derby Restaurant made this salad famous in the 1920’s. Traditionally, it consists of finely chopped chicken or turkey, bacon, hard-cooked eggs, tomatoes, avocado, scallions, watercress, cheddar cheese and lettuce tossed with a vinaigrette dressing and topped with an ample portion of crumbled Roquefort or other blue cheese.

One of the happy cows at the Farm with Tomales Bay in the background.

This summer Cobb Salad variation was created for one of our many visits to the Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company at Point Reyes Station. A farm tour and cheese tasting was always followed by a hands-on cooking class at their event center called “The Fork.”

Looking forward to our return when it is safe to do so.

For the Salad:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 hearts of romaine lettuce, washed, dried and chopped1 small cucumber, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 pint strawberries, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 pint blueberries2 ears fresh corn, shucked and kernels removed1/4 pound yellow wax beans, blanched1/4 pound green beans, blanched1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium, ripe avocados, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces; fried in a medium skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 7 minutes; and drained on a paper towel-lined plate2 ounces white Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 ounces Point Reyes Blue Cheese, crumbled

For the Blue Cheese Vinaigrette (Makes about 1 cup):

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2/3 cup olive oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 ounces Point Reyes Blue Cheese, crumbled
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Vinaigrette:
•  In a small container with a tight-fitting lid, combine all the vinaigrette ingredients. Cover the container and shake vigorously. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

To Finish the Salad:
•  In a medium bowl, toss the chopped romaine with a bit of the vinaigrette until lightly coated; arrange on a flat serving platter.
•  Item by item, toss in the same bowl with a bit of the vinaigrette and arrange in rows on top of the greens. Use your best creative abilities to alternate colors and textures.
•  After the salad is plated, drizzle with any remaining vinaigrette.
•  To serve, plate each serving with a combination of all the components.

Serves 4 as a main course

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