Micro-Chopped Cobb Salad with Lemon-Harissa Dressing
I’m a fan of chopped salads. I usually chop my ingredients into bite-sized pieces and love the fact that I don’t have to use a knife while eating. I’d rather do all the cutting work in advance so I can simply relax and enjoy my salad once it’s in front of me on the table. Recently, while eating dinner at the Brown Derby, I saw the most finely chopped salad ever. The lettuce was chopped as finely as one would chop parsley or cilantro, and so were the rest of the ingredients. For a minute, I thought it was tabouli, but no, it was good old lettuce salad reduced to smithereens. It totally made sense to me, the chopped salad lover, and I wanted it badly but had already ordered crab cakes.
I won’t say chopping this salad was quick. It wasn’t. Dicing all the ingredients finely is time-consuming, but you realize as soon as you bite into the first forkful that it was all worthwhile. Finely chopped salads have something refined about them, at least from my perspective. Growing up in Morocco, I was inculcated from early on that salads with coarsely chopped ingredients were poorly executed. Meatballs were never larger than marbles. Herbs chopped any bigger than a grain of rice were frowned upon in my family. The smaller the better. So yes, this salad makes so much sense in my world.
Micro-Chopped Cobb Salad Recipe
8 turkey bacon strips
1 pound chicken tenderloins
1 large head Boston lettuce
1 large tomato
4 hard-boiled eggs
1/4 cup low fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons harissa, or more to taste
Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon, turning it frequently with tongs, until browned and crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels.
Use the same skillet to cook the chicken in the melted bacon fat over medium heat (If you prefer, you could discard the bacon fat and use olive oil instead.) Cook the chicken until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes per side.
Finely dice the lettuce, tomato, shallot, hard-boiled eggs, chicken and bacon. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to blend.
Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.