Cobb Salad with Asparagus

"Cobb" Salad With Asparagus and Sugar Snap Peas

Big bowls of chopped lettuce squeezed with lemon juice may feel virtuous, but they don’t always seem substantial enough to get us through the rest of the day with satiated stomachs. And after all, the most interesting part of a salad is made up of all the stuff that ISN’T lettuce; fun combinations of textures and flavors that will keep us interested all the way through to the bottom of the bowl.

The inspiration for this salad came from a quick cruise through the local Farmer’s Market, paired with our love of traditional (but decidedly heavy) Cobb salads. Instead of gloppy dressings and heavy proteins, we wanted to lighten things up using all of the veggies that are at their absolute peak right now, including gorgeous radishes, plump and crisp sugar snap peas and tender, delicate asparagus, which gets a quick bacon fat sauté before being added to the salad. A little crumbled feta adds pleasant pops of acidic saltiness, with toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) for a little added crunch.

Spring “Cobb” Salad With Asparagus and Sugar Snap Peas

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Scallion Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup minced scallions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the Salad:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 pound of bacon, diced
  • 1lb asparagus, trimmed
  • 6 oz spring lettuce mix
  • 6 large radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 4 oz crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

Directions:

For the Scallion Vinaigrette:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Store in an airtight container until ready to use; keeps in the refrigerator for up to a week.

For the Salad:

Place eggs in a medium saucepan. Fill with cool water, covering eggs by about one inch. Cook over medium heat until water comes to a boil. Then, remove from heat, cover and let stand for 12 minutes. Transfer eggs to an ice bath to stop them from cooking, then peel under cool running water. Halve lengthwise and set aside.

In a deep-sided skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crispy, about 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to paper towels to drain, then add asparagus to rendered bacon fat. Cook until tender-crisp and bright green, about five minutes.

To assemble, layer a large platter with the spring lettuce mix, asparagus, radish and snap peas. Add crumbled feta, and sprinkle with roasted pumpkin seeds. Serve with scallion vinaigrette.