Cobb Salad with Garlic Mayo

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I’ve been enamoured with the idea of breakfast salads recently and have been enjoying this Cobb Salad virtually every day. I eat it around 11-12 noon and it keeps me going till dinner, and I find it saves a lot of time only having to eat 2 meals per day. The dressing is made with homemade mayo and is so silky and luscious, it is the star of the show. It is a great salad to take on picnics because it doesn’t get soggy. Just pack the dressing separately and add prior to serving.

This salad can be a time-consuming to make all the components from scratch, but is quicker to prepare if you have cooked chicken, bacon and hard-boiled eggs on hand. I like to bake a big batch of chicken marylands and freeze some to use later.

Cobb Salad

Dressing:

  • ⅔ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic (roasted or pressure-cooked)
  • ⅛ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Salad:

  • 1 medium cos lettuce
  • 1 large handful of rocket
  • Any other herbs you like, such as basil, coriander, watercress
  • Celery, finely diced, 1 stick (optional)
  • Cooked meat (skin-on) from 2 chicken marylands, diced (approx 3 cups)
  • 6 rashers of bacon
  • White wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 avocado, deseeded and sliced
  • 3-4 hardboiled eggs, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • Black pepper, salt

Method

  1. Cook the bacon till crispy. I love using the oven as you don’t need to supervise it very much and when cooked in the frypan it tends to curl up. When bacon is cool, cut into small pieces. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the dressing ingredients. Set aside. (I use cooked or roasted garlic as it is less harsh than raw garlic. A quick way is to trim the top off a full unpeeled head of garlic and cook in the pressure cooker for 5 minutes.)
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  4. Tear the lettuce and greens into bite sized pieces and place into salad bowl. Add chicken (and celery if using) and combine.
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  6. Arrange the sliced avocado on top; sprinkle on a little white wine vinegar or lemon juice to prevent browning. Next, add the eggs and bacon. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Just before serving, drizzle the dressing generously over the salad and add the chives.

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Paleo Mayo

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When I think back to my first attempt at making mayo, my memories are of frustration, a split, oily runny mess, $$$ of oil wasted and swearing never ever to bother with it again. It was not until I came across Melissa Joulwan’s post that I felt sufficiently confident to give it another go.

The great thing about making your own mayonnaise is that you can choose your oil. All of the supermarket mayos are made with non-paleo oils like canola or sunflower oil so make your own mayo if you want to minimise the amount of Omega 6 in your diet. I like to use a light olive oil because it is flavourless (don’t try this recipe using extra virgin olive oil as the taste is too strong and overpowering).

The keys to success are: (a) an immersion blender (ie, stick blender) and (b) room temperature ingredients. I leave the egg (in its shell) and the lemon out at room temperature for several hours (or take them out the night before if you want to be on the safe side). It takes about 5 minutes from whoa to go, and wouldn’t it be sheer hubris of me if I said that I have never had a mayo failure doing it this method, so I won’t say it lest the mayo gods decide to teach me a lesson. I feel rather sad whenever I come across mayo recipes which talk about adding the oil drop by drop. I was once one of those mugs who tried it that way and what a waste of time that was.

Once you’ve made your mayo and revelled in how skillful you are and how delicious it is, what do you do with it? Dollop it on hard boiled eggs, sardines, use it as a base to make all manner of other salad dressings such as ranch, or make the fabulous Cobb Salad which I will post about very soon. It is amazing with crispy baked potato slivers.

Paleo Mayo

  • 1 egg (55g sans shell)
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tbsp (26g) lemon juice (or 20g white wine vinegar)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 244g light olive oil
  1. At least 2 hours before you want to make your mayo, take out the egg and leave at room temperature. I’m assuming your oil is already at room temperature but if not, take that out too.
  2. I use a tall plastic beaker which came with my immersion blender. You want a container that is tall and thin that just fits the head of your blender. Break the egg into the container and beat well with a fork. Add all other ingredients and let them settle, then blend with immersion blender for 20-30 seconds without moving it. Once it thickens up, move the blender slowly up and down, blending until the mayo is smooth, uniform and thick.

Makes around 2 cups (recipe can be halved). Store in fridge.

If you use lemon juice, your mayo will have a lemony flavour which goes well with seafood. For a more neutral mayo, I use white wine vinegar.