Cobb Salad with French Dressing

Cobb Salad

The classic Cobb salad can be a nutritional nightmare, but this version features a low-calorie French dressing that uses puréed vegetables to create a creamy base. Pimientos give it the familiar flavor and bright orange color, but unlike the typical American-style French dressing, there’s no sugar in this one, which means it pairs perfectly with any vegetable, meat or seafood salad. This is a composed salad, rather than a tossed one, so the greens won’t wilt if you make it ahead of time. Consider layering individual portions in large Mason jars for easy week-day lunches. The pimiento jar makes a great container for salad dressing if you don’t have a small plastic one.

The latest research from Monash University states that most people with fructose malabsorption can tolerate a 1/4 of an avocado. Each serving of this salad has 1/6 of an avocado, well within the guidelines. For more precise control over the amount in each serving, slice the avocado instead of dicing it.

For those of you with lactose intolerance, Roquefort cheese has less than 1 gram of lactose per ounce, so it’s allowed on the low-FODMAP diet. If you have a dairy allergy, skip the cheese- the salad will still taste great.

Cobb Salad with French Dressing

Serves 6, Adapted from “Down Home Cooking”

2 heads butter lettuce (also known as Boston or Bibb lettuce)
2 cups (480 ml) baby arugula (rocket), stems removed
2 pounds (900 grams) poached chicken breasts or tenders, diced
2 cups (480 ml) ripe tomatoes, chopped, excess liquid drained
6 strips of American-style bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 large, hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1 large avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
2 ounces (56 grams) crumbled Roquefort cheese (about 1/2 cup/120 ml)
1 cup (240 ml) French dressing, see recipe below

Tear the lettuce and arugula into bite-size pieces. Toss together in a large bowl. Arrange the chicken, tomatoes, bacon, eggs, avocado and cheese side by side on top of the salad. Refrigerate until serving time. Divide salad into 6 servings at the table and drizzle with the dressing.

French Dressing

Makes about 1 3/4 cups (420 ml)

1 small potato, peeled, diced, cooked (1/2 cup/120 ml  or 3 ounces/84 grams)
1 jar (4 ounces/113 grams) diced pimientos, drained
1/3 cup (80 ml) white wine or water
1/4 cup (60 ml) red wine vinegar, or other vinegar as tolerated
3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil
2 tablespoons (30 ml) Dijon mustard, or other mustard as tolerated
1/4 teaspoon (1.25  ml) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until very smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a jar or container with a lid and refrigerate until serving time. Will keep for up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator. If the dressing thickens when cold, thin with a little water.

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