Cobb Salad is (yet another) salad we make very often in the Bruser household and it’s one of our favorites. Avocado, hard-boiled eggs, chicken, bacon…mmmm! I had clipped the recipe (for Cobb Salad with Brown Derby French Dressing) from our local paper years ago. The last time I started to make the salad, I couldn’t find the recipe!! Aaagh. Of course, I know all the salad ingredients by heart, but not the dressing. I mean, I know what’s in there, and I could probably come pretty close to replicating it, but it was making me crazy.
So I Googled and I found many versions of what every recipe calls “the original” and I learned a little bit about the history of the salad. Seems the famous American classic salad was concocted in the late 1920’s by Robert “Bob” Cobb, manager of the famous Brown Derby restaurant (aptly shaped liked a derby hat) in L.A. This is the restaurant where the walls were covered with caricatures of famous stars.
The Cobb Salad was one of the first “composed” salads that were soon copied at many other restaurants. The Cobb is a chopped salad (ingredients are individually chopped into small pieces) and then arranged on a plate or shallow bowl with each ingredient in its own row or pile on a bed of chopped greens. (Oops! My bad…I’ve been making it as a regular tossed-in-a-salad-bowl-salad all these years!) The special French dressing is added and the salad tossed just at serving time. And it is traditionally served as a main course salad.
As with most recipes, I’ve tweaked this one a bit over the years too…with all due respect to Bob Cobb. Oh, and after reading about how this salad is supposed to be served, we tried the traditional composed presentation. A little more preparation, but very attractive and oh-so-old-Hollywood!
6 cups chopped lettuce (any combination you like – iceberg, red leaf, romaine. The original called for watercress)
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken (I’ve used leftover turkey and even steak!)
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 strips bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 medium avocado, chopped
Brown Derby Special French Dressing:
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup vegetable oil
salt & pepper to taste
For the salad: Individually chop all the salad ingredients into very small pieces. Arrange decoratively on a serving platter or large shallow bowl or into individual plates. (OR, commit blasphemy and just put everything in a big salad bowl and toss together. LOL.) Drizzle with enough dressing to moisten.
For the dressing: In a jar with a lid, place all of the dressing ingredients except the oils and shake vigorously to combine. Add olive oil and vegetable oil. Shake well again.