tropical cobb salad ginger lime vinaigrette

In case you didn’t get it from the 823 versions I’ve made on this site, I’ll tell you right now that I have a thing for Cobb Salad. Give me anything, I will Cobb-ify it, which basically means adding avocado, bacon, and blue cheese.

Lobster? Been there.

Salmon? Done that. With both grilled salmon and smoked salmon on the plate.

Bachelor in Paradise? Tropical Cobb Salad with Ginger Lime Vinaigrette, served on a board, obviously, because it’s for two.

By the way, as much as I talk about dating and relationships on social media, I have never seen a single episode of any Bachelor or Bachelorette series ever (it’s a principle thing).

Recipe for Tropical Cobb Salad with Ginger Lime Vinaigrette below. Ingredients and shopping resources follow.


makes one giant Salad Board to serve 2-4 people


8 ounces chopped cooked turkey or chicken breast
8 ounces sliced deli-style turkey breast
12-16 ounces bacon, cooked
4 eggs, hard-boiled and sliced in half lengthwise
½ ripe fresh pineapple, peeled and cut into spears
1 large ripe mango
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half length-wise
2 large firm-ripe avocados (allot ½ avocado per person)
2 Persian cucumbers, sliced
4 heads of Little Gem lettuces or 4 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
½ cup pickled red onions
¾ cup pepper jack cheese, diced
Ginger Lime Vinaigrette (see below)
thinly sliced serrano or jalapeno peppers
salt and fresh cracked black pepper
chopped fresh parsley
optional ingredients to include on board: fresh kiwi, fresh papaya spears, sliced fresh red onions, pickled peppadew peppers


Assemble the Salad: Place the turkey or chicken breast in the center of a very large serving platter or board. Arrange the cooked bacon, hard-boiled eggs, pineapple, mango, tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers, lettuce, pickled red onions, cheese, and any other optional salad ingredients you might be using artfully around the avocados and turkey breast on the board.

If you are using chopped Romaine lettuce instead of the Little Gem lettuce cut into spears, dress the greens very lightly dressed with the Ginger Lime Vinaigrette, then tuck handfuls of the dressed greens into spaces between the other ingredients on the board. (Optionally, you can serve the greens from a separate bowl.)

Hit everything with black pepper and chopped fresh parsley.

Serve with Ginger Lime Vinaigrette in small bowls, Hawaiian rolls, and bottles of rosé.


makes about 2 cups


2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon grated lime zest
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 cup neutral oil like grapeseed


In a small bowl, whisk together minced garlic, grated ginger, sesame oil, lime zest, lime juice, and salt. Vigorously whisk in a slow stream of oil until vinaigrette is blended and lightly creamy (the oil and other ingredients will not become completely creamy). Taste and add more salt if needed. Stir in water as needed to thin the consistency of the vinaigrette. Dressing will keep, tightly sealed, in the refrigerator for five days.


  • Bacon: If you want to make your bacon look wavy like we did here, use this recipe for roasting bacon in the oven on a wire rack.
  • Eggs: are pasture-raised eggs. I use Vital Farms Alfresco Eggs, available at Whole Foods Market
  • Greens: According to sources, the original Cobb Salad was served with watercress. But this is almost nothing like the original Cobb Salad, so use whatever the hell greens you like, if any at all. The greens in this photo are Little Gem lettuces, which are basically tiny heads of Romaine lettuce.
  • All other fresh herbs and produce from either the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market on Wednesday, or Whole Foods Market when I can’t find it at the farmers’ market.
  • The original Cobb Salad has blue cheese, which I LOVE, but I used pepper jack here because 1) some people are weirded out by the very strong smell of blue cheese, and 2) the jalapeno spice complements the sweetness of the tropical fruit on the salad board (and adding thinly sliced serrano or jalapeno peppers to the salad is a nice touch). Literally any cheese that you like works here though.
  • If the Ginger Lime Vinaigrette is too spicy/gingery, serve it separately as a dip, and dress the salad with a basic white wine, red wine, or Champagne vinaigrette. You can also cut the ginger amount by half in the recipe.
  • Speaking of wine, my favorites to drink with this salad are rosé, chenin blanc, and light bright sparkling white wines.
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