It's not that I don't like salads. On the contrary, I adore salads. They are fresh, and crunchy, and have the most delightful, colorful toppings (if yours don't, you're doing it wrong). In fact, if I go for more than a few days without a salad, I start having some serious salad withdrawals. It's almost as if I can feel the unhealthiness creeping in. Ick.
You see, to some people in our house, a salad is an appetizer; a prelude to the main course. Always.
It doesn't matter what you put on it, it will never be enough food to qualify as a main meal. One of our favorite restaurants has the most amazing Cobb Salad on the menu (that actually served as my inspiration for this salad) that is absolutely massive. I can never get close to finishing it. It has a whole chicken breast, the equivalent of two boiled eggs, probably three slices of bacon, a wedge of cheese and a farmers market full of vegetables.
Sometimes I think he has a tape worm. I mean really, who can eat that much? Better yet, who can eat that much and stay in perfect shape? I'd be the size of a house - a very large house. Is my jealousy a little too obvious? Sorry, but the injustice is killing me. I demand a new metabolism.
I leave it up to you whether to make this salad as an appetizer or a meal. Either way, just make it. It's insanely delicious.
Surf and Turf Cobb Salad with Buttermilk Basil Dressing
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes (excluding overnight marinating of chicken and shrimp)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 bunch of basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups of buttermilk
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
10 ounces fresh spinach
1 green apple, diced
3 boiled eggs, chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 cucumber, diced
2 carrots (or 10 baby carrots), chopped
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 ounces of good blue cheese, crumbled (I used Point Reyes Blue Cheese)
Night before, combine 2 cups of buttermilk, chives, garlic powder, onion powder, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl and whisk. Add chicken and shrimp and allow to marinate in fridge overnight.
For dressing, combine all of the dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. For salad, preheat grill to high heat. Remove chicken and shrimp from marinade and discard marinade. Skewer shrimp for easier grilling (if you use wood skewers, soak them for at least and hour prior to grilling). Grill chicken breast over high heat until cooked through, about 5-10 minutes per side. Add shrimp skewers in the last 4 minutes and cook for approximately 2 minutes per side until pink. Coarsely chop chicken. Assemble salads with any or all of the toppings, depending on the tastes of your lucky diners.