Winter Cobb Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

December 27, 2011 § 1 Comment

Christmas has happened.  The frenzy leading up to the Big Day has peaked and waned and now at my house we’re all floating in a buzzy afterglow.   On the 26th my six year-old looked at me and said “Today I am wearing my jammies all day.” She held my gaze, waiting for me to disagree so that she could launch into a whining refusal to get dressed.  “Okay,” I said.  She looked bewildered for a moment and then happily dived headfirst into her gigantic pile of new toys. Go in peace, child.  The day after Christmas (no wait – every single day of our lives) should be a time of relaxation and ease.  On December 26, when considering dinner, I had two requirements: The dish must be simple to prepare and it must be easy to digest.  I was seduced by the thought of a warm bacon dressing, which disqualifies it as a post-holiday cleanse. But it goes down easy.  And I would argue that vinaigrette-stained stained pajamas are a sign of opulence and luxury, nothing to be ashamed of.

Winter Cobb Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette

Serves 4

For the salad:

Romaine, 1/2 head washed and torn or sliced into bite-sized pieces

1 Belgian endive, rinsed and leaves torn in half

2 poached chicken breasts (or use the breast from a store-bought rotisserie chicken), shredded

1/2 lb blue cheese, crumbled

1/2 sweet red apple (like a Fuji), sliced

For the dressing:

3/4 lb bacon, sliced into 1/2 ” pieces

1 small shallot, diced

1 Tblsp dijon mustard

1 Tblsp sherry vinegar

2 Tblsp extra-virgin olive oil

1. Arrange the salad on a platter (or in a rectangular baking dish if your spouse just shattered the very last ceramic platter in the house).  First, the lettuce and endive, then the  chicken, the apple slices, and the blue cheese crumbles.

2. Make the dressing.  Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until just crisp.  Remove the bacon to a paper towel-covered plate to drain.  Pour off all but 3 Tblsp of the bacon fat.  Add the shallots to the skillet and sautee until soft, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the mustard and vinegar, then drizzle the olive oil into the pan.  Pour the warm dressing over the salad, add the bacon.

3.  C’est tout!  Enjoy.

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