I love salad! I could eat it for lunch and dinner and I have even been known to have salad with my breakfast! I love it even more when I can turn salad into a main dish work-of-art.
Cobb salad is a standard in my life. It is one of my go-to items to order when eating out at a restaurant. With a little questioning of the server or the chef, I can determine if any ingredients need to be left out or substituted. Even though Cobb Salad should be a naturally gluten free recipe (at least in my opinion) you need to check before ordering. Ask if the bacon was fried on the grill along with wheat-filled things like pancakes or grilled sandwiches. Ask about the blue cheese – if there is any uncertainty, leave it off or substitute. And ask what’s in the dressing. I know – you are going to come off appearing “high maintenance” and look like Sally from the movie “When Harry Met Sally” but so what? It didn’t hurt Sally and it is always better to be safe than sorry!
Of course, if you make Cobb Salad at home, you know it is going to be safe to eat. For this particular Cobb I decided to create an Asian version and to “compose it”. Arranging the ingredients in a salad makes it look so much more elegant than tossing everything into a bowl. It takes a minute or two more to compose the salad but trust me – it will transform an everyday salad into a masterpiece! Plus everyone can grab what they want and leave what they don’t – in my house this means there won’ be a little pile of red peppers left on the side of my hubby’s plate
Gluten Free Asian Cobb Salad Recipe
1 cup San-J Tamari Sesame Salad Dressing – use divided
3 tablespoons honey
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (2 – 4 depending on size)
Kosher or fine sea salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
6 cups shredded Napa cabbage
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
2 cups shredded carrots
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely sliced
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 English (hot house) cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
¼ cup cilantro leaves
Combine ½ cup of the dressing with the honey and place in a large plastic food storage bag. Add the chicken breasts, toss to coat and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 12 hours.
Remove chicken breast from the refrigerator and discard the marinade. Pat the breasts dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat the bottom of the pan with the oil. Add the chicken breasts; cook for 2 minutes or until golden browned, flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Cover the pan; lower the heat to medium and cook for another 4 – 8 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts. Let sit for 5 – 10 minutes then slice thinly.
Combine the Napa cabbage with the romaine and place in a layer on a large platter. Arrange the chicken slices, carrots, red pepper, green onions and cucumbers on top of the cabbage/lettuce mixture in rows. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper, the sesame seeds, the remaining dressing, and cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.