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From the kitchen: Salad daze

By By Judy Grigoraci
For the Gazette
(Photo credit: Aimee Grigoraci)This Greek Cobb salad is a "whole meal salad," with both protein and vegetables together.

Salad days are here! I especially enjoy whole-meal salads — those with protein, vegetables and sometimes fruit all in one.

It saves time and our energy and in the summer heat, with every movement we all become energy conservationists.

Most everyone is familiar with Cobb salad — the arrangement of boiled egg, cheese, chicken, bacon, tomatoes and avocados over a field of greens.

Cobb salad is an American invention, complete with conflicting stories about how the salad was named.

It’s a little like the legend of the Buffalo chicken wings — a supposed late-night nibble.

Some stories have it being thrown together by Robert Cobb, the owner of the long-closed Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant as a midnight snack from refrigerator leftovers. Thus the name.

Others say it was his chef who came up with the plan. Who knows? There’s no argument that it’s good.

I tinkered by varying the ingredients, creating themed Cobb salads. Italian Cobb, Seafood Cobb, Southwestern Cobb, (sounds like Forrest Gump’s shrimp, doesn’t it?) and today’s presentation, Greek Cobb Salad.

It was given the taste-test at a recent family gathering.

Because I have non-lamb lovers, I chose to marinate chicken tenderloins then grill them to cut up for the salad. That recipe is included.

Otherwise, grill or bake lamb chops (leftovers from a lamb roast is an excellent idea for this) and cut them bite-size or brown ground lamb, adding onions, Cavender’s Greek seasoning and oregano for flavor.

The recipe says “grated cucumber” — you may dice or slice yours. The grated is for a certain family member who shall remain nameless — named Vic — who thinks they don’t like cukes.

I’m able to hide it in the foliage, but the fresh taste is present. So far that person has been fooled.

Thank you Mr. Cobb, wherever you are, for the salad inspiration.

Reach Judy Grigoraci at jg@suddenlink.net.

Chicken Marinade

This may be used for any marinated chicken purpose.

Makes about 2/3 cup.

½ cup Kraft Greek Vinaigrette Dressing

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon Cavender’s Greek seasoning (it comes in salt-free as well as regular)

¾ to 1 pound chicken breast tenderloins

Greek Cobb Salad

(the amounts will vary depending upon size salad you intend to make)

One package baby spinach or spinach mixed with other greens

Marinated chicken; cooked lamb

Grated cucumber

Hard boiled eggs, chopped

Halved grape tomatoes

Kalamata olives, pitted

Thinly sliced red onion

Pepperoncini

Optional –any grilled or sautéed vegetables such as squash, mushrooms, eggplant

Crumbled feta

Homemade Greek dressing or the Kraft Greek Vinaigrette

WHISK dressing, mayonnaise, and seasonings for chicken marinade; place in heavy duty ziplock baggie; add chicken, tossing to coat. Refrigerate at least 4 hours up to overnight, turning occasionally.

LIFT from marinade and grill or pan-sauté until chicken is no longer pink in center. Cut into bite-size pieces.

ASSEMBLE salad by placing spinach greens on any shape large platter (salad ingredients will be in rows). Grate cucumber over greens; arrange remaining ingredients in side-by-side rows across the spinach.

DRIZZLE with dressing and serve.


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