Last year, I made real Cobb Salad according to Julia Child's specifications. It was one of the best salads I've ever eaten, but took a mind numbing amount of time to prepare all the ingredients. In contrast, this Asian Cobb Salad is much easier to make, taking less than 30 minutes to assemble. And while it won't supplant Julia's recipe as my favorite, this was quite good and I would be more likely to make this version in the future, due to the ease in preparation. The salad has shredded Napa and red cabbage, spinach, snow peas, and chicken, along with chopped scallions and cucumbers. But, you can substitute vegetables of your choice, as well as using cubed tofu in place of the chicken. The dressing is full of flavor and goes a long way. You can use less of it, if you like, and still get a nice flavor.
(Adapted from Deborah Madison's The Savory Way)
Yield: 2-4 Servings
2 cups Spinach leaves, cut into narrow strips
2 cups Napa cabbage, cut in narrow strips
2 cups red cabbage, cut fine
½ large Cucumber peeled, seeded, and diced
4 scallions thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 About 3/4 cup snow peas, cut in narrow strips
1 cooked chicken breast, skinned and cut into narrow strips (Cubed silken firm tofu can be substituted)
1 tablespoon black or white sesame seeds ( Or use chopped peanuts)
Arrange all the vegetables and the chicken (or tofu) as you like. You can arrange them in small piles in a wide, shallow bowl or large plate. The classic Cobb Salad would be to put the greens on the bottom, with the other ingredients arranged in narrow columns on top. But, this is your opportunity to make your own design.
Heat the sesame seeds in a dry pan until they begin to smell toasted, then let them cool. Just before serving, sprinkle the seeds over the salad. Drizzle the dressing on top, or serve it on the side. Toss the salad altogether after you put on the dressing.
1 garlic clove
2 Tablespoons peanut oil
2 Tablespoons dark sesame seed oil
2-1/2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced
1 Tablespoon tahini (or use peanut butter, if you prefer)
6 finely chopped mint leaves
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
Mash or press the garlic into a paste and then add the other ingredients and whisk into a thick paste. I used a small blender.