Deconstructed California Cobb

We are huge fans of the deconstructed salad at our house. Having separate components enticingly tucked into separate bowls appeals to picky eaters and allows everyone to eat just what he or she wants.

Arugula and fennel bulb are my unorthodox additions to the classic Cobb; I love the crisp crunch of fennel slivers and peppery bite of arugula.

If you have access to fennel or arugula blossoms, toss them in too. The little flowers are so charming, and they give a nice kick of flavor.

This recipe can easily feed a family of four, or it can be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd.

Deconstructed California Cobb

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  • 1 ⁄2 pound pan-fried or grilled chicken breast torn into small pieces and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 ⁄2 pound bacon crisp-cooked and broken into bite-size pieces
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs sliced into thin rounds or chopped
  • 2 avocados pitted, peeled, and sliced
  • 1 ⁄2 cup thinly sliced fennel
  • 1 ⁄4 cup crumbled blue cheese {GF folks: check with the producers to be sure the cheese is gluten-free; or you could use a creamy fresh goat cheese as a safe substitute here}
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • Fennel or arugula blossoms optional
  • 8 cups arugula or torn butter lettuce leaves


  • Place the chicken, bacon, eggs, avocados, fennel, cheese, tomatoes, and blossoms (if using) in their own bowls. Place the bowls in the center of your dining table.
  • In a large salad bowl, lightly dress the salad greens. Pour the remaining dressing into a small pitcher and place it on your now-crowded table.
  • Set out 4 dinner plates or shallow bowls. Let everyone dig into the ingredients, creating a salad to their liking.
  • Pass the dressing for an extra drizzle to top the goodies.
  • Crack some black pepper over your salad and sprinkle with salt.


1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1⁄3–1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt
1. In a large bowl, combine Zen blend, peas, onion and avocado; set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk remaining ingredients. Pour over avocado mixture; gently toss to combine.
3. Serve immediately.

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