This meatless rendition of the famous Cobb salad is so packed full of vegetables, nuts, and cheese that it is practically a meal in itself! Feel free to substitute your own favorite goodies: pecans for the walnuts, apples for pears, or a sweet potato for a baking potato. The possibilities are endlessly delicious.
1 cup walnut pieces
1 baking potato (about 1/2 pound), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/2 lb Roquefort cheese or other blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup wine vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 cup mild oil, such as canola
1 head romaine lettuce (about 1-1/4 pounds), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips (about 3 quarts)
2 bunches watercress (about 10 ounces in all), tough stems removed, leaves chopped (about 1 quart)
1 cup drained cocktail onions
1 avocado, preferably Hass, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 pear, peeled, cored, and sliced
In a small frying pan, toast the nuts over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Or toast them in a 350 degrees F oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
Put the potato in a medium pot of salted water. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine one third of the blue cheese with the vinegar, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly and then gradually whisk in the oil. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the dressing.
Add the romaine to the rest of the dressing and toss. Transfer to a platter or salad bowl.Toss the watercress with the reserved dressing. Arrange the remaining blue cheese, the watercress, walnuts, potato, onions, avocado, and pear slices on top of the lettuce.
Source: Quick from Scratch - Vegetable Main Dishes[/b]