Did somebody say salad?or are you just getting a cobb on?

Every cook needs a little green salad recipe in their repertoire, in the same way as every style conscious woman needs a flattering little black dress in her wardrobe. They’re both fundamental building blocks.There is perhaps nothing worse than a boring bowl of green leaves served at a table with a meal.I know it’s hard to get over enthusiastic about salad, and let’s be honest salads do not generally excite people.The main ingredient in a green salad is the lettuce. But just as lettuce by itself does not a salad make, using only one kind of lettuce in a salad can be dull, and a dull salad means a missed opportunity. A perfect green salad strikes just the right balance of textures. Pair it with chicken and you've got dinner sorted.
Ed Smith´s Green Salad from "On the side"
For 4-6
2-3 heads little gem lettuce or 1 large 
Juice of 1/2 large lemon
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp flaky sea salt
Pinch freshly ground black peppercorns 
1/2 tsp caster sugar
Romaine, or 1 butterhead lettuce
A fistful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
A handful of flat leaf parsley leaves
1 spring onion, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 cucumber, peeled, halved, de seeded and in 1cm crescents (optional)
1 ripe avocado, flesh scooped in dessert spoon-sized chunks (optional)

Separate, wash and dry the lettuce leaves. If using romaine, slice into 4-5cm widths.
Put the lemon juice, oil, sugar, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until emulsified, cloudy and viscous. Taste. Adjust lemon, oil, sugar, salt, as see fit.
Add the herbs and lettuce to the dressing and use your hands to toss the lettuce until every surface is glossy. Add spring onions / cucumber / avocado if using, toss to distribute well.

In stark contrast the classic cobb salad is a complete meal. A chef salad and a Cobb salad both have lettuce, cheese, meats such as chicken and bacon, and hard-boiled eggs. However, what sets the Cobb salad apart is the addition of tomatoes and avocado. Additionally, a Cobb salad typically uses a mix of lettuce types.It has been manifesting itself in restaurants all over the United States since the 1930s (when it is said to have originated at the Brown Derby Restaurant in Los Angeles). But it happens to be the perfect weekend-at-home salad. everyone clamours for it, and if you make it on Saturday night you can use the leftover roast chicken from Friday, the bacon and eggs from breakfast on Saturday, that chunk of blue cheese in the back of the fridge. You get the picture. While the origins of a Cobb salad are still up for debate, what goes into one is fairly absolute: tender chicken breast, tangy tomatoes, perfectly hard-boiled egg and, perhaps most important, crispy bacon. This classic version relies on crumbled blue cheese and ripe avocado for creaminess, rather than a cheese or buttermilk-based dressing, making way for a mustardy shallot vinaigrette. The way each of the ingredients is prepared will depend on personal preference: Are you a chunky, chopped salad kind of person? Or do you prefer your lettuce torn and tomatoes sliced? Here, the torn and sliced approach is taken for a more elegant visual, but feel free to make it your own. It also halves nicely if you're cooking for two. When it comes to dressing, something creamy is always a good idea, but a mustard vinaigrette is ideal. Take your pick.

Classic Cobb Salad
2 bone-in chicken breasts skin on
sea salt flakes
Romaine 1 head, torn into bite-size pieces
Watercress 1 bunch, woody stems removed
Iceberg ½ small head, torn into bite-size pieces
Chopped chives 8 tbsp
Bacon 8-10 slices, crisply cooked and broken into bite-size pieces
Ripe tomatoes 2 large, cored and cubed, or 400g cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Ripe Hass avocados 2 big ones, peeled and cubed
Eggs 4, hard-boiled, peeled and cut in half or quartered
Good quality blue cheese I used cabrales115g, crumbled

For the perfect mustard vinaigrette
good quality extra virgin olive oil 120ml
dijon mustard 1 tbsp
red wine vinegar 3 tbsp
finely chopped shallot 1 tbsp
sea salt ½ tsp (or more to taste)
freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 6. Place the chicken breasts skin side up in a roasting pan and completely cover with sea salt flakes, pressing it in a bit so it doesn’t slide off. Roast until cooked through, about 45 minutes. (I stab it with a knife to make sure the juice runs clear.) As soon as it is cool enough to handle, remove the salty skin and brush off all the remaining salt completely. Remove the meat from the bone, cube and refrigerate. I usually do this in the morning and refrigerate the meat all day.
For the mustard dressing, place the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake shake shake until emulsified.
In a large bowl, toss together the romaine, watercress and iceberg. Leave them in the bowl if it is appropriate for serving or move to a large platter. Once you have the greens arranged as you wish, top attractively with sections or rows of the cubed chicken, bacon, tomatoes, avocado, egg and blue cheese. Sprinkle with the chives and serve with the dressing of your choice in a little pitcher to pass around to guests, who may serve themselves from the platter.


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