Turkey Cobb Salad with Honey Orange Poppy Seed Dressing


Do you ever eat a meal at a restaurant and want to replicate it at home?  Do you often think that salads you eat at a restaurant taste better than what you make at home?  My friends and I have joked many times that food always tastes better when someone else makes it for you!  Where salads are concerned, I think the key is so often in the dressing.

Recently, I enjoyed a turkey cobb salad at a local restaurant called The Pressroom.  What made it memorable was the creamy orange vinaigrette.  The mild sweetness of the dressing with the salty sharpness of the blue cheese was divine.  I went home and starting working on my own version.  I was pretty sure the original was cream based.  Striving for something healthy, I started with Greek yogurt for the creaminess.  This remake took me several tries.  I did get the inside scoop that the restaurant version uses cream, although it is one of the few dressings they do not make themselves.  (And in case you stop in with the intention of ordering this, we returned recently to find they no longer carry the dressing, preferring only homemade options.)  Eventually, I did produce a dressing that tasted very similar to the salad topping I enjoyed that evening out.  What’s more, the end result is something that won’t turn your healthy salad into a fat and calorie disaster once spooned overtop…so dig in!

Feel free to vary the amount of the individual ingredients according to preference.  As another option, you may use your favorite buttermilk ranch dressing which also compliments this salad beautifully.  Or click here for my healthier version, pictured below.

Turkey Cobb Salad with Honey Orange Poppy Seed Dressing
For those living near Lancaster Central Market, The Turkey Lady sells a fabulous rotisserie turkey that works beautifully in this recipe and allows for speedy prep. Feel free to use leftover grilled or baked chicken, rotisserie, or boneless, skinless breasts that you pan sear at the last minute.
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  1. 8 cups mix of spinach and chopped romaine lettuce, or greens of choice
  2. 3 cups chopped or shredded cooked turkey (rotisserie turkey or chicken work well)
  3. 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped or sliced
  4. 1 avocado, diced
  5. 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved, or 2 regular tomatoes, chopped
  6. 3/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  7. 1/3 cup slivered or chopped red onion
  8. 6 slices bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
  9. Other optional add-ins: 1/2 a medium cucumber, thinly sliced or chopped; 2 stalks celery, chopped; 4-5 radishes, sliced
  10. Honey Orange Poppy Seed Dressing (recipe follows) or Buttermilk Ranch Dressing (recipe linked above)
  1. Arrange lettuce on large platter or bowl. Top with turkey, eggs, avocado, tomatoes, blue cheese, onion, bacon, and any optional veggies.
  2. Just before serving, drizzle with preferred dressing. Sprinkle lightly with freshly ground pepper and sea or kosher salt, if desired.
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen http://fountainavenuekitchen.com/
Honey Orange Poppy Seed Dressing
While I originally created this mildly sweet dressing to balance pungent blue cheese in a hearty cobb salad, the light orange flavor lends itself to so much more. Let your imagination be the guide in creating a myriad of salads including some of the following ingredients: bitter greens, asparagus, fennel, radishes, orange vegetables, ginger, almonds, walnuts, and all sorts of fruits including strawberries and pineapple. Add almost any poultry or seafood, even leftover steak or pork, for a heartier meal.
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  1. 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  2. 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  3. 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice
  4. 1 tablespoon honey
  5. 2 teaspoons raspberry or apple cider vinegar
  6. 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  7. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  8. Zest of 1/2 an orange, optional
  1. In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together. You may also place the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well.
  2. Dressing will keep, stored covered in the refrigerator, for about a week. Shake well before serving.
  1. Citrus fruits will yield their juice more easily when they are room temperature, but they are easier to zest when cold. You may zest straight from the fridge, then heat for 15 seconds or so in the microwave prior to juicing.
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen http://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

This healthier, homemade buttermilk ranch dressing pairs beautifully with this salad, too.

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