Tag Archives: salad greens

Cobb Style Steak Salad

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I was hoping Mother Nature might take pity on us by wielding her mighty weather wand because October has arrived and with it, the promise of Fall.  All things apples and pumpkins, steaming bowls of comforting soup to stave off a late afternoon chill in the air.  New wooly socks and freshly knitted scarves in blended hues of purple and rust.  Leaves that change color seemingly overnight, then fall to the ground before one realizes it.  Standing on the porch in the evening to inhale the fresh air and scent of burning wood from a fireplace nearby.  Cuddling and snuggling…

Wait.  Not necessarily.

It’s a sweltering 94 degrees today, and for those who live inland in San Diego county, the temperatures are well past 100 degrees.  There’s a breeze wafting through our house, but it’s a warm one and so the fan cycling the air beneath my desk sends welcome relief.  As much as it is not all that unusual for our weather to be warm well into Fall, this is a bit much, and it’s had me thinking about the idea of looking forward to something often elusive — for me, at least — instead of embracing that which is today, and now.

The hubster and I often chide ourselves for being the weather nerds we are, but so be it.  And just to confirm it, I have a weather widget on all my devices tagged with my favorite cities — or cities where my favorite people live — and I frequently check to see how their weather differs from ours. Yes, really.

Guess what?  It seems to be pretty warm most everywhere today.  Allow me to illustrate:

Virginia (my sister lives there) is not quite as warm as it is here, but 75 degrees today is quite nice for October 2nd even if there are thunder storms.

Toronto (where I had the great pleasure of visiting recently) enjoyed a balmy 68 degrees today.

Western New York state (my childhood BFF lives there) had rain, but it was 66 degrees.  That’s warm by my standards and rain would be most welcomed.

San Francisco (teh ManBoy goes to school there) was most likely baking in the high 80s temps today and I heard from his roomie, so check.

Rota, Spain (my favorite childhood home) enjoyed 80 degree temps. Beach, anyone?

Even London, England (favorite vacation destination) managed 61 degrees today. Not enough for more than two light layers.  Maybe.

Fall?  What Fall?  Seriously?

I’ll blatantly ignore the calendar (and far more delicately with apologies, of course, the lovely New England folks nudging the rest of us along their pipe dream), to wallow instead in the moment of nowTodayLife where I live.   Life where fresh produce grows all year long and Farmers’ Markets don’t close for the season.  Really!  Life where the sun shines and shines.  I need to embrace the warm days and nights craved in June when the calendar said I should, instead of knowing they’d show up as they always do in September and October.  Brace myself for the piercing sunlight so normal here for this time of year. Welcome the nights of cool relief from the day’s heat. People who deal with excessive humidity just don’t understand the wonder of it.  It’s not the same as their summer.  Their heavy heat and humidity.  Not even close.

Relax and enjoy that life is good, I say. Regardless.

Perhaps we’ll have a salad for dinner since I can’t bear to think of turning on the oven for the Macaroni & Cheese I promised the hubster.    No, this recipe for Cobb Style Steak Salad will be something  that  the barbie can be fired up for if you’d like, or more easily, a panini pan used if one is handy. Either way, it’s all about enjoying the fresh flavors of a great dinner salad — warm weather or not.

Nice.

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Boston Butter Lettuce Salad with Avocado, Corn, & Tomatoes

One of the things my husband will tell you I ask him is whether he’s had anything green during the day.  He’s fairly patient with this interrogation because he’s intelligent and knows that ultimately, regardless of what he eats, there have to be vegetables in his diet– especially brightly colored vegetables.  But sometimes, green is enough, and often easier because all it takes to incorporate it into a day’s worth of meals is to have a salad.  A big salad.

I know many think salad is a warm weather dish, but to me, it’s one of the easiest ways to make sure vegetables are on the plate.  Fresh vegetables.  Nothing fancy — just a mix of what sounds good, what’s in the fridge, or what’s in season.  And?

The salad needs to take up half the plate.

I grew up eating salads made exclusively with iceberg lettuce.  I’m sure many of us did, and from what we now know, it’s because that’s what was in the market.  Zero choice.  But one of the first types of lettuce I discovered when I was freshly moved out of my mother’s house was Boston Butter Lettuce.  It was beautiful, delicate, and something I’d never seen before.  Although I originally saw it in small heads placed in rows upside down in the produce rack, more and more, the heads I’ve become accustomed to seeing are larger.  Much larger, and sealed safely inside plastic containers to keep them from being bruised.  I felt decadent the first time I bought a head of butter lettuce,  enjoying the tender leaves with all kinds of tasty salad ingredients, and thinking that yes, it tasted a bit on the buttery side.

During our short trip to Laguna Beach this past summer, we had a late lunch on the balcony overlooking the beach at The Beach House.  Although we both agreed the food was wonderful, I especially enjoyed the completely green salad made of a whole head of butter lettuce and all other green ingredients tucked under the leaves. Avocado, green striped tomatoes, green onions — wonderful.

When I saw the “Boston Lettuce Salad with Herbs” in the September issue of Food & Wine, I decided to make a similar version of a delicious Boston Butter Lettuce Salad.

Perfect for dinner, a special occasion, or just lunch all by yourself.

Check off your greens for the day!

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