Sweet potato Cobb salad with Dijon vinaigrette

Let me start by saying that while this may possibly sound like a vegan or just generally healthier version of a Cobb salad, it is not.

See, it includes bacon because in my opinion, if you’re going to make a Cobb salad without bacon then you might as well not make a Cobb salad at all.

That said, if you would like this to be a vegan Cobb salad you could easily leave the bacon out. Obviously, though, I recommend against this.

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What this salad does not have is cheese or egg because while I like 98% of egg preparations, I absolutely cannot stand hard boiled eggs. They totally repulse me. I’m sorry to come on strongly but that’s just how I feel.

I’ve tried to like them – I really have. Every Easter growing up I dutifully cracked into pastel colored, hard boiled eggs. And every year I was stymied by their slimy, sulfuric exteriors and the chalky yellow nothingness inside.

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So that answers the what and why of this recipe. In answer to your next question – the question which you haven’t actually asked – no, I usually don’t like to order Cobb salads out at restaurants and here’s why.

As a general rule, I don’t like to order anything at a restaurant that requires more than two modifications. You know what I’m taking about.

No one wants to be the person who orders a Cobb salad, no egg, no cheese, and can you check if the dressing has dairy in it, because I’m allergic.

So when I found myself craving one* a few weeks ago the only solution was to make it myself, sans cheese and egg, with a safe dijon vinaigrette and cumin roasted sweet potatoes thrown in for good measure.

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And that’s the name of that tune.

Sweet potato Cobb salad

Yields about 2 meal-sized salads

1 sweet potato, diced**
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 avocado, diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
4 slices of bacon
6 cups salad greens

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss sweet potato, olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake until roasted and slightly crispy on the outside – 20-30 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large sauté pan until crispy. Set on a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Then, let cool. Once bacon has cooled, crumble and set aside.

To assemble, top salad greens with tomatoes, avocado, sweet potato and bacon. Drizzle with Dijon vinaigrette and toss to combine.

Dijon vinaigrette
(Adapted from Epicurious)

1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 cup olive oil
Pepper

Either: Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl.

OR, if you prefer an emulsified dressing (as I do): Combine ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until dressing is thick and creamy.

*: Ok fine, I was craving bacon but it was a Monday so the only acceptable answer was to use salad as a vehicle in which to eat bacon.
**: I find it easiest to either microwave or bake the sweet potato part of the way – say 10 minutes in the oven – let it cool, then dice.

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