Strawberries, blue cheese, bacon, and red onion combine for the perfect springtime Strawberry Cobb Salad.
You might recall the Mr. has a slight aversion to mixing fruit and savory foods. And by slight I mean major. And by aversion I mean he avoids it like the plague. He wouldn’t touch a Hawaiian pizza with a 10 foot pole. And don’t even think about adding mandarin oranges to his spinach salad. He will cut you. Okay, not really. But he might give you a look of disdain that could pierce your soul.
When the idea for a Strawberry Cobb Salad popped into my mind, I knew I would love it. I figured the Mr. would hate it, but I figure since I’m the chef I get to make things just for me every now and then. Besides, I knew he would have no problem filling up on bacon and blue cheese.
Before dinner that night I arranged all the toppings for the cobb salad on a plate. A row of sliced roasted almonds, a (wider) row of crumbled blue cheese, a (wider still) row of bacon, a dice of red onion, slices of hardboiled egg, and the strawberries.
Then I did something totally irresponsible. I made a dressing out of the leftover bacon grease.
Are you judging me right now? I feel like you’re judging me right now.
This is a legitimate use of bacon grease, I promise. It’s just like using any other oil, only better, because BACON. I whisked together the leftover drippings with some pureed strawberries and vinegar to make a tangy vinaigrette for the salad. I figured the strawberry dressing was the final nail in the coffin for the chances of this dinner ever being consumed by the Mr.
But he surprised me. Don’t you just love that? I even gave him a disclaimer when he asked what was for dinner. “Wellllll, I made a Strawberry Cobb Salad, but you don’t have to eat the strawberries. And you can use a different dressing if you want.”
But he didn’t. He tossed the strawberries right in with his (disproportionately large) serving of blue cheese and bacon, smothered the whole thing in the Strawberry Vinaigrette, and ate it like a champ. He even liked it.
I tried to cover up my shock and awe, but ended up asking him why he seemed to enjoy this fruity salad while he despises so many others. We finally realized it was because strawberries have the ability to taste strangely like tomatoes in a salad. They have a similar texture, and while they’re a tad sweeter, they don’t overwhelm the other ingredients. They just work.
This realization has opened up an entire new world for me. I’m having visions of strawberry salsa, strawberry pico de gallo, and strawberry tacos. That last one might push the Mr. over the limit, but hey, that’s kind of my prerogative as the chef of this place, right?
Try this Strawberry Cobb Salad as a hearty side dish for your Easter gathering or as a light, springy main dish. It’s a great way to use up all those dyed hard boiled eggs, it’s super colorful and pretty, and even the Mr. loved it. That’s pretty much all the endorsement this needs.
For the salad:
- 8 cups mixed greens (I used romaine and baby spring mix)
- 6 eggs
- 8 slices bacon
- 4 strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 4 ounces crumbled blue or gorgonzola cheese
- Sliced honey roasted almonds (I used store bought)
- 1/2 a red onion, diced
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup reserved bacon grease
- 1/4 cup strawberry puree
- 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- Pinch sugar (optional)
For the eggs and bacon:
- To hard boil the eggs, place them in a fairly deep sauce pan and cover them with at least an inch or two of cold water. Place them on the burner over high heat. Bring them to a boil. Once the water is boiling, remove the saucepan, cover, and set the timer for 12 minutes. At 12 minutes, remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon and dunk them in a bowl of ice water. Peel after the eggs have cooled completely.
- Meanwhile, fry the bacon until crispy. Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels. Reserve drippings.
For the dressing:
- Whisk together the 1/4 cup reserved bacon grease and remaining ingredients. Depending on the sweetness of your strawberries, you may need more or less sugar.
- Serve greens with the toppings either in rows on top or in bowls on the side, allowing each individual to pick what they want.
Recipe by Neighborfood