Autumn Cobb Salad with Honey-Cayenne Dressing

We ate well in Mexico. Really well. Aside from our visits to Flora Farms, mealtime basically looked like this:

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Catch my drift? Tacos and margaritas…and a lot of both. I probably love tacos more than most people, but by the time we returned home to snowy Utah, I was ready for something lighter and un-taco-ish…like salad for dinner. My favorite local restaurant has a Cobb salad on the menu filled with all sorts of interesting things. In addition to greens, tomatoes, and egg, it has unexpected items like black beans, artichoke hearts, and pumpkin seeds. Inspired by the season, I put together my own version.

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I started by grilling some chicken and gathering my ingredients. There’s really nothing fancy here; it’s all about mixing different flavors and textures. I included autumn-y things like roasted sweet potato, apple, and dried cranberries. I kept the yummy, more traditional things, like onion, tomato, and avocado. I chose pistachio nuts for the crunch factor and Gorgonzola crumbles for the very necessary cheese. And egg. It’s just not a Cobb salad without hard-boiled egg.

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Aside from slicing and dicing, this supper is simply a matter of assembly. On a bed of romaine and arugula, I started layering the ingredients in a diagonal design, like they do at Silver Star Café. How appetizing does this delicious rainbow look?

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To dress the salad, I wanted something light but with a bit of creaminess. In a small jam jar with a lid, I combined honey, minced garlic, Greek yogurt, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper, and a decent shake of cayenne pepper. I shook the jar until the dressing was combined and creamy and spicy and scrumptious.

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The spicy-sweet tang of the dressing was perfect for the salad. Every bite had a new flavor, a different texture. I usually like to try to get a little bit of everything on my fork, but there’s too much going on here for that. John took a knife to his plate and cut and combined everything.

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It was so good! The apple and cranberries gave some sweetness. The onion and pistachios added a bite and some crunch. The creamy Gorgonzola mixed in perfectly with the dressing. And the chicken and roasted sweet potatoes made this salad a seriously satisfying meal.

I only missed tacos a little bit.

Autumn Cobb Salad

You’ll need your preferred amounts of:

  • Greens (I used romaine and arugula)
  • Grilled chicken, chopped
  • Roasted sweet potato
  • Red onion, sliced
  • Tomato, sliced
  • Apple, chopped
  • Avocado slices
  • Pistachio nuts
  • Gorgonzola cheese

On a bed of greens, arrange the ingredients in piles or stripes, however you prefer. Drizzle with Honey-Cayenne Dressing. You won’t even think about tacos or margaritas… at least, not for a while.

Honey-Cayenne Dressing

You’ll need:

  • One tablespoon honey
  • Two cloves minced garlic
  • One tablespoon Greek yogurt
  • Four tablespoons olive oil
  • Splash of apple cider vinegar
  • Big pinch each of salt and pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you like heat!)

In a jam jar, combine all ingredients and shake well to combine. Serve over your favorite salad, like the fabulous Cobb above. Yay, autumn! YUM!

Hungry for more? Check out the collection of recipes on the FOOD BLISS page

One year ago: Grilled everything stacked chicken enchiladas with charred tomatillo sauce

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