Cobb Salad with Roasted Sweet Onion Dressing

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Have you ever met someone who just doesn’t like a cobb salad?  Sure, there are vegetarians or vegans and ingredient-restricted individuals who steer clear of this delicious, often-reinterpreted salad, but there’s something for everyone in the well-rounded salad that eats like a meal.  This version, with a southern sweet onion twist, is sure to please even the pickiest of palates.  While it has many individual elements, it all comes together quickly and taking the time to make your own dressing is entirely worth it.  So let’s get started.

Ingredients

Market-Sourced Ingredients

Dressing:

6 unpeeled garlic cloves from Souto Farms

1-2 large sweet onions, peeled and quartered through the core from Souto Farms

1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing from La Cucina

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

juice and zest of 1 lemon from Cherry Pit

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

Salad:

1 clamshell of fresh Alberta romaine lettuce from Cherry Pit

1 clamshell of fresh spicy microgreens from Cherry Pit

1 avocado from Cherry Pit

1 bag of sweet tomatoes (your preference) from Gull Valley Greenhouses

2 cups shredded cooked Bowden Farms chicken from Spragg’s Meat Shop

1 package of bacon from Spragg’s Meat Shop

4 ounces crumbly Gorgonzola cheese, (1/2 cup) from Fresh DELIcious

1/2 cup toasted pecans, choppped from Going Nuts

2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced lengthwise from Sylvan Star Cheese (or Blush Lane Organics)

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

Cobb Salad Collage

MAKE THE DRESSING: As we are likely enjoying the last week of warm sun and beautiful blue skies, we opted to grill the chicken and onions.  We even wrapped the garlic in foil and threw it on the grill too.  If you choose to do this step of the process in the oven, roast at 425°. Wrap the bulb of garlic (or individual cloves) in foil and set on a baking sheet. Brush the onions with oil and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour, until the onions and garlic are lightly charred and soft. Let cool.

Peel the garlic and transfer the cloves to a processor. Add the onions, cider vinegar and lemon juice and puree until smooth. With the blender on, gradually add the 1/2 cup of olive oil until incorporated. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.  At this point, we’d like to be perfectly transparent and admit that while our recipe calls for absolute measurements, we prefer to free-pour the vinegar and oil and trust our instincts.  Food is all about what tastes good right?  So if you want to add a little more vinegar, knock yourself out!  This dressing should have a good kick to it as it will cut through the rich chicken, bacon, and avocado and balance the salad.  Remember: Taste. Taste. Taste.  Taste as you go.

Set Up

MAKE THE SALAD: In an effort to not overdress the salad (who wants wilty, wet salad?), we placed the romaine and micorgreens in the bowl and arranged the remaining ingredients on top.  Just before serving, add your fresh-made sweet onion dressing and allow your guests to toss it all together to really see the magic happen.

This salad is a full meal that is sure to leave your family satisfied, hitting every mark: crisp lettuce leaves, succulent chicken, salty bacon, creamy avocado, bright tomatoes, nut-crunch…. and that’s just a few!  If you don’t like blue cheese, a milder cheese will absolutely work in this salad.  Choose what you like…. because let’s face it, food is meant to be enjoyed so use what you love and leave with a full and happy tummy.

*The onion dressing can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Simple Easter Brunch

371c9c368f7011e29a3e22000a1f90ce_6Easter is early this year, and for some reason it feels really early.  The kind of early that makes you feel unprepared.  Whether you’re hunting for brightly colored eggs and chocolate bunnies or just celebrating with family and friends… you’ll likely be cooking something.  Ham, lamb, or turkey: dinner is covered.  But what about brunch?  There are so many options, your head might be spinning.

We have a recipe to share with you that is simple with only 5 main ingredients, and easy enough for any home cook to execute. An open-faced sandwich that will satisfy any hunger: toasted brioche covered in melted Gruyere, lemony greens, prosciutto, and a creamy, sunny-side-up egg nestled on top.  It sounds too decadent to be called simple, but rest assured, it truly is easy peasy.

And you can get all of your ingredients in one stop, here, at the Calgary Farmers’ Market!
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5 Market-Sourced Ingredients:
Serves 6
1 Loaf of Brioche from Yum Bakery

MicroYYC MicroGreens from Gull Valley

6 Slices of Prosciutto, and 100 grams of Gruyere from Luc’s European Meats

6 Fresh Farm Eggs from Lund’s Organic Farm

Yes! this really is all you need to make a delicious brunch that is sure to impress.

The brioche, a flaky pillow of yum, is lightly toasted, buttered, then topped with grated-turned-gooey Gruyere.  A salty prosciutto ribbon: the perfect place for fresh, lightly-dressed flowery greens to lounge about, waiting to be topped with a rich, poached egg.

So, let’s get started!  Slice your brioche into slightly thicker slices… about an inch thick. Lightly toast and top with a small pat of butter. Sprinkle the grated Gruyere over the warm slice of heaven, *ahem*, brioche; this is where you can spread your wings and add as much cheese as is to your liking. We recommend a happiness-inducing dose of cheese, always. Set this aside while you poach the egg. Afraid of poaching? No problem, you can fry the egg too. Poaching the egg, however, achieves the ooey-gooey soft centre that is best achieved when swirled into hot water.

Poaching TrickHere’s a tip for you:

Crack the egg into a ramekin or small bowl.

Bring a pot of water with a splash of vinegar to a boil.  Then, in one round motion, swirl the water to achieve the perfect bubbling hot tornado for the egg to be whisked away. Slide the egg from the ramekin into the swirling water, and voila! An ‘all-together’ egg on its way to being poached perfection. Poach 2-3 minutes.

If this still scares you (or you need to make many eggs at once), you can absolutely use the very convenient poaching pods/cups found at most kitchen retailers.

Or if you have an Instant Pot, place eggs on the steam rack with a cup of water in the bottom and cook on the steam function for 3 minutes. Vent, remove eggs, and place in cold water to stop the cooking process.

While the egg is poaching, slide the Gruyere-topped brioche under a broiler to melt cheese, (this doesn’t take long), remove when bubbly and gooey.  Top with prosciutto (at this point, you can choose to return it to bask under the broiler to crisp up the prosciutto, but this is entirely personal preference).  Lightly toss the greens in a little freshly-squeezed lemon and olive oil and place on top of the cheesy-meaty toasted brioche.

And lastly, nestle the soft-poached egg on top of the lemony microgreens. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

Some may think the ‘salad’ portion of this sandwich can simply be served on the side, but the acidity of the lemon and freshness of the microgreens is actually the perfect marriage with the rich, creamy yolk of the egg.

This dish is beautiful in its simplicity.  No need for hollandaise.  Or even a second piece of brioche to make the sandwich whole.  No, it’s just right. Unless of course you’d like to add in a festive glass of bubbly… which you absolutely should! We particularly like a splash of Field Stone Fruit Wines dessert wine in a glass of bubbly. Just sayin’. And yes, you can pick those items up from the market too 😉

So, what will be on your plate this Easter?

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