Salad of Cheese and Bacon (Chopped Cobb)

Let's raise our iced teas in a toast to Robert Cobb, a ridiculously intelligent man from Los Angeles who, back in the 1930s, ran the Brown Derby restaurant, where he changed everything we thought we knew about salads -- by installing bacon and cheese and eggs next to all that lettuce. 

  • 1/2 pound bacon strips

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 tablespoon rendered bacon fat
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 small head Romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch watercress, chopped
  • 8- to 10-inch leaves red leaf lettuce, chopped
  • 1 large, ripe tomato, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 large, ripe avocado, chopped
  • Crumbled blue cheese to taste

Snip the bacon into bite-sized pieces. Saute over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove to paper towels to drain. Save 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat for the dressing and discard the rest. 

Make the dressing: Put all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, screw on the lid tightly and shake until emulsified. Taste and adjust the seasoning if you want. Shake again. 

Make the salad: Place the eggs in a small saucepan under just enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, then cover tightly and remove from the heat. Let stand in the hot water for 10 minutes, then peel under cold running water. Place in a bowl of cold water until ready to use. 

Put the chopped greens, tomato and green onions in a large bowl. Add the bacon pieces. Toss them around with a pair of tongs, then add about half the dressing. Toss again to coat everything. Continue adding more drizzles of dressing until everything's just coated. (Too much dressing will ruin this salad.) 

Drain and dry the eggs, then chop coarsely. Throw the avocado, eggs and cheese over the top of the salad