A classic Cobb salad for two, with its infinitesimal array of topping ideas, is the ultimate summer salad. Basically any dressing will do, but a 5-minute, egg-less, blender Caesar dressing gives this beauty a punch of saltiness it intrinsically needs.

Cobb Salad for Two with Genius Caesar Salad

Let me preface this salad talk today with a tiny story. A yarn, if you will.

For most of my life – like until the past two years – I thought this salad originated in Cape Cod around the turn of the 20th century.

Every time I saw it on a restaurant menu or on one of those now-so-hipster but originally-seen-in-the-corner-deli variety chalkboard menus, I envisioned beach goers packing up this salad in containers, spreading out old sheets or blankets (this was before we bought such things), and enjoying it with a green dressing.

You know, with sea spray in the hair and sand between the toes.

Cobb Salad for Two with Genius Caesar Salad

And one day I was like: Duh. Cobb. Not Cod!!

I suppose the mix-up in my adult brain had something to do with the fabulous Ina Garten discussing green goddess dressing and packing meals for the beach. I swear I haven’t been smoking anything; I just wasn’t paying much attention.

Cobb Salad for Two with Genius Caesar Salad

ANYWAY. This Cobb salad!!

I won’t go into the actual story behind the origin (wiki will tell you about it) because I want to gush to you about how fantastically easy it is to throw together and how incredible it is with this genius Caesar dressing. Most versions include grilled chicken which I’ve felt a little “meh” about recently so I skipped it. Believe me, you won’t miss it here.

This version is so loaded up with good stuff: hard-boiled eggs, juicy cherry tomatoes, ever-so-thinly sliced radishes and cukes, crumbled bacon and blue cheese. And of course, a beautiful and in no way overly done fanned-out avocado half.

It’s all set atop a bed of crunchy chopped romaine – iceberg or another sturdy leafy green lettuce would work fine too – and served with the blink-of-the-eye quick blender-version Caesar dressing I’ve been pouring on everything for months.

The punch of tangy flavor from this Caesar really sets the whole salad off! It’s a killer dressing!

Cobb Salad for Two with Genius Caesar Salad

Can you Make Cobb Salad without Blue Cheese Dressing?

Of course you can! The blender Caesar dressing I made for this salad is insanely delicious so that would be my first choice.

But feel free to use your favorite dressing! Ranch! Creamy balsamic! Red wine vinaigrette!

Fresh herb vinaigrette! Creamy avocado ranch! Ooo! A drizzle of balsamic reduction would be amazing, too!

Or if you want to go old-school with your dressing, a classic blue cheese would be delicious too!

And of course, feel free to swap out/in your favorite toppings. I added what I had hanging out in my fridge before they reached the omg-point. (You know which point I’m talking about.)

Cobb Salad for Two with Genius Caesar Salad

I made this Cobb salad with genius Caesar dressing a second time over Memorial Day weekend for my parents – who FLIPPED OUT over it – along with icy cold glasses of passion tea (without the lemonade).

It was and will continue to be the ultimate summer weekend lunch – beach or no beach involved.

Cobb Salad for Two with Genius Caesar Dressing

Cobb Salad for Two

Cobb Salad for Two

Yield: 2 main course servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Cobb salad for two is the ultimate summer salad! With its infinitesimal array of toppings, you can easily beef up this salad with lots of grilled or roasted chicken, shrimp, or steak.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce, washed and dried
  • 2 large hard-boiled eggs
  • ½ cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 2-4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • ½ avocado, thinly sliced and fanned out
  • 2 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp crumbled blue cheese

Instructions

  1. Arrange all of the salad components over a bed of lettuce on two plates or in two wide, shallow bowls. (I arranged the salad in the photos in one big bowl and then divided it between two plates.)

Notes

If you're feeling a "bigger" protein than the crumbled bacon that I strongly encourage, grilled or rotisserie chicken, grilled or roasted shrimp, grilled flank steak, or some salmon (cold or warm) would be absolutely perfect with this cobb salad.

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Genius Caesar Dressing

Genius Caesar Dressing

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Genius Caesar dressing is a 5-minute, egg-less, blender dressing that gives any salad a punch of saltiness it intrinsically needs. Leftover Caesar dressing will keep in the fridge for about 1 week.

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp - ¼ cup water
  • 1 ½ tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced very finely
  • 2 anchovy fillets or 1 ½ tsp anchovy paste
  • ¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ tsp hot sauce
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Flaky sea salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender (starting with just 2 tablespoons of water and adding more if you want a thinner dressing). Season with salt and extra ground pepper to taste. Drizzle over salads.

Storage: Store extra dressing a glass jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Notes

adapted from Food52 Genius Recipes

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Notes

If you’re feeling a “bigger” protein than the crumbled bacon that I strongly encourage, grilled or rotisserie chicken, grilled or roasted shrimp, grilled flank steak, or some salmon (cold or warm) would be absolutely perfect with this cobb salad.

Ingredients

For the salad:
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce, washed and dried
2 large hard-boiled eggs
½ cucumber, peeled and sliced
2-4 radishes, thinly sliced
½ avocado, thinly sliced and fanned out
2 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
2 tbsp crumbled blue cheese

For the Genius Caesar dressing:
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp – ¼ cup water
1 ½ tsp red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced very finely
2 anchovy fillets or 1 ½ tsp anchovy paste
¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp hot sauce
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Flaky sea salt, to taste

Instructions

  • 01

    Assemble the salad: Arrange all of the salad components over a bed of lettuce on two plates or in two wide, shallow bowls. (I arranged the salad in the photos in one big bowl and then divided it between two plates.)

  • 02

    To make the dressing: Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender (starting with just 2 tablespoons of water and adding more if you want a thinner dressing). Season with salt and extra ground pepper to taste. Drizzle over salads. Store extra dressing a glass jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Smells Like Home original | Caesar dressing adapted from Food52 Genius Recipes