Classic Cobb Salad With a Twist

2 poached or grilled chicken-breast halves, finely diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1 fresh lemon
1/2 head firm iceberg lettuce, finely diced
1 small head chicory (or other coarse, curly-leafed salad green), finely diced
1/2 head romaine, finely diced
1 medium bunch watercress, coarsely chopped to yield 1 cup leaves and tender stems
1 avocado
About 1 cup good-quality vinaigrette (preferably homemade), divided
6 slices crisp-cooked bacon, crumbled
3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons minced, fresh chives or green onions
4 ounces good-quality blue cheese
3/4 cup chopped, dark-roasted and skinned hazelnuts
2 medium-sized, ripe, firm tomatoes, finely diced

Toss the chicken in a small bowl with a sprinkling of the salt and pepper and drizzles of the olive oil and juice from the lemon. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Choose a fine, big salad bowl with a wide shape. Place the iceberg lettuce, chicory, romaine and watercress in bowl, tossing to combine them.

Halve the avocado, peel and dice it into 1/4-inch pieces. Turn it into a small bowl and sprinkle with a few drops of fresh lemon juice and olive oil.

Toss greens with about 1/3 cup of the vinaigrette. Arrange remaining ingredients in strips on top of greens. From left to right, lay on avocado, the bacon pieces, hard-cooked eggs, green onion, blue cheese, hazelnuts and tomatoes. Bring salad to the table, then toss with additional vinaigrette.

Makes 4 main-dish servings.

NOTE: If you wish to arrange the salad in advance, do not toss greens with vinaigrette, or greens will become limp; simply cover salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate, then toss with vinaigrette at the table.


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