So often people serve deli salad (as they call it), you know the one with sliced deli in it and a sweet dressing. It's a good salad and lots of men love it but it got me started on creating a newer, better version, one kinda like a traditional cobb salad you find in restaurants but without all the treif ingredients. Here is my new deli salad and I love it. The dressing is awesome, sweet roasted onions and garlic, with naturally sweetened apple cider vinegar and some neutral oil. Make sure to season it with salt and pepper to get the flavors to really jump out. The salad is bright and fun and full of vegetables, meat (I love using Jack's Gourmet, Facon, its the best imitation bacon on the market!), and crunch. The salad is a great appetizer or a light dinner.
6 unpeeled garlic cloves
2 large Vidalia onions (1 1/2 pounds), peeled and quartered through the core
1-1/4 cups vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
10 lightly packed cups mixed lettuces (8 ounces)
Freshly ground pepper
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup cooked fresh or canned corn kernels
1 cup sliced cucumber
1/2 cup crumbled cooked IMITATION bacon or sliced pastrami
1 Hass avocado, peeled and diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced lengthwise
For the dressing: Preheat the oven to 425°. Wrap the garlic cloves in foil and set on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the onions with oil and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour, until the onions and garlic are lightly charred and soft. Let cool.
Peel the garlic and transfer the cloves to a blender. Add the onions, cider vinegar and lemon juice and puree until smooth. With the blender on, gradually add the 1 1/4 cups of vegetable oil until incorporated. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, toss the lettuces with 1/2 cup of the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter. Arrange the remaining ingredients on top and drizzle the dressing over the salad or pass the remaining dressing at the table.