Greek-ish Cobb Salad with Roasted Salmon

Sort of thinking that a big bowl of salad might be an appropriate follow-up to last week's decadently delicious cookie bars, and since I've had cobb salad on my mind for the last couple of weeks, that's what we're doing today.  It's actually a Greek-ish riff on the traditional cobb salad, which is high up there on my list of favorite things.

I didn't have to change all that much to give it a bit of a Greek twist; just swapped out the blue cheese for some feta, the chicken for some salmon, switched up the dressing, and I threw in some chickpeas just for fun. Am I the only one who thinks chickpeas are fun?  Well, they are.  

And they're very fun in here.  In fact, this is a pretty awesome collection of ingredients for a salad, and we ate more than we ever thought possible in one sitting.  But it's salad, so a little gluttony can't be held against you.  I've mentioned a few other ingredient swaps in the recipe headnote below.

I served this with some crusty bread from the Whole Foods bakery, but it would be even more Greek-ish with some warm pita flatbreads.  

And who doesn't crave a fresh, beautiful salad as summer heat starts to settle in.  But who am I kidding, we scarfed this baby down in the middle of a spring thunderstorm and cared not a bit as the temperature spiraled down into the 50's.  A good salad is not weather-dependent.  And this is most definitely a good salad.  Here's the recipe...

Greek-ish Cobb Salad with Roasted Salmon

I like to think of this as a template for you to collect the ingredients that reflect your own personal cobb salad desires.  Having said that, this is a pretty awesome collection.  But if you wanted, you could swap out the chickpeas for artichoke hearts or use kalamata olives instead of bacon or some chopped red peppers instead of tomatoes, things like that.  Make it your own!  But make it good.

Click here for a printable recipe

For the salmon:
2 6-8 oz salmon filets, skin and pin bones removed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt and pepper

For the Salad:
lots of romaine lettuce, chopped
3-4 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
3-4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 1/2 cups chickpeas
1 avocado, chopped
1 cup chopped cherry or grape tomatoes
1 cup feta cheese 

Dressing:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
1 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Mix together the 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 2 teaspoons of olive oil.  Sprinkle the salmon filets generously with salt and pepper and then brush the tops and sides with the balsamic vinegar-olive oil mixture.  

Place the salmon on a parchment or foil-lined baking pan and roast in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes, depending on how thick your filets are.  Mine were cooked perfectly at 16 minutes.  But do not overcook them!.  Set aside to cool.

Mix the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to combine.  Set aside.

Place the lettuce in a large serving bowl and then top with rows of bacon, eggs, chickpeas, avocado, tomatoes, salmon and feta cheese.  Sprinkle the eggs and avocado with sea salt and then give the salad a good grinding of fresh cracked pepper.

I like to present the salad at the table intact before adding the dressing and tossing to combine all of the ingredients.  Only add as much dressing as needed to lightly coat the greens.

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