Top Cobb Salad

Candied smoky walnuts step in as an admirable replacement for the bacon element in this salad. They’re such tasty little treasures that down to the very last mouthful, you’ll be asking, ‘What bacon — who needs bacon?’ For extra texture and a bit of bite, add some thinly sliced radishes to the salad. 


  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon or wholegrain mustard
    1 cos or iceberg lettuce, coarsely chopped
  • 250 g (9 oz) grape or cherry tomatoes,halved
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, coarsely chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, coarsely chopped 250 g (9 oz) shredded poached chicken from the Chicken stock on page 220, or barbecued chicken (optional)                                                              
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs (see tip), shelled and grated
  • Candied walnuts                                                         
  • 11⁄2 tablespoons maple syrup 1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika scant 1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt 1⁄2 cup (50 g) walnuts                                                                       


To make the candied walnuts, combine the maple syrup, paprika and salt

in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in the walnuts and cook for 4 minutes, or until the maple syrup completely dries out and coats the walnuts. Spread the candied walnuts in a single layer on a tray lined with baking paper and allow to cool completely.                    

In a large serving bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil and mustard. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, add the lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber and toss to combine.

Scatter the avocado over the top, along with the chicken, if using. Scatter the grated egg over, top with the walnuts and serve immediately.