Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy birthday, mamacita!

Today is my mama's 85th birthday! My dear mother is a piece of work and all of her kids love her! She's turning 85 today and she has been on a Caribbean cruise for the past two weeks so I didn't even get to talk to her on her big day. But her ship gets back into port tomorrow and we're having a little birthday party for her on Sunday at my house.

I've been thinking about what to make for her birthday party. She loves Cobb salad and I've got a Barefoot Contessa recipe for Cobb salad, but it's lobster Cobb salad. Nix on the lobster. I think she really likes the traditional version with chicken and I don't feel like dealing with the lobster variation anyway.

So I'm adapting Barefoot's version, substituting chicken for lobster and using romaine lettuce in place of arugula. I'm also going to try using pancetta instead of the usual bacon and I think I'll cook the chicken with Italian herbs so it will be Italian chicken Cobb salad. Should I substitute Parmesan cheese for the blue cheese? So I guess I'm barely sticking to Barefoot's recipe, except I'll make her viniagrette. So while I'm on a run of posting recipes with olive oil and lemon juice, why not one more?

Sometime I'll try the full-fledged Barefoot Contessa version from her Family Style cookbook but not this time. Here's the original version:

Lobster Cobb Salad

For the viniagrette:
1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
5 tablespoons good olive oil
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:
2 ripe Hass avocados
Juice of 1 lemon
1½ pounds cooked lobster meat, cut in ¾-inch dice
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quarters
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ pound lean bacon, fried and crumbled
¾ cup crumbled English Stilton, or other crumbly blue cheese
1 bunch arugula, washed and spun dry

For the vinaigrette, whisk together the mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

For the salad, cut the avocados in half, remove the seed, and peel. Cut into ¾-inch dice and toss with the lemon juice. If the arugula leaves are large, cut them in half crosswise.

Put the lobster and tomatoes in a bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and toss with enough vinaigrette to moisten. Add the diced avocados, crumbled bacon, blue cheese, and arugula and toss again. Serve at room temperature.


  1. ooh, that reminds me of a lobster salad served in a hoagie/hotdog roll I saw her do once. it looked awesome.

  2. Oh, yes--I saw the variation with the hotdog roll online. It's a great idea, something to consider for a summer party. How about a crabmeat adaptation when lobster is not available?