The Brown Derby Restaurant on the infamous Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, California became famous for their best known menu item, Cobb Salad. They always maintained very high culinary standards; many famous celebrities and business moguls frequented The Derby. An assistant to the Brown Derby's founder Herbert K. Somborn was "Bob" Cobb.
Early on in the history of this restaurant he improvised a salad that soon became a legend in the late 1920's. One late night after the restaurant was closed, Cobb and some friends were hungry, he started chopping up anything available in the kitchen. Everyone liked it. Then there were changes and additions and it soon made its way on to the menu. It was an instant success. They even made it into a culinary event. The authentic Cobb salad would arrive at the table in a beautifully laid out pattern. The waiter or waitress would drizzle on the dressing, then dramatically toss the salad in the air, while the guests starred, wrapped in the whimsical theatrics. This is my adaptation of the authentic Cobb Salad, only a few small changes. This recipe will nicely serve 4 to 6 people.
Things you'll need:
- 1/3 c. red wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp. English dry mustard
- 1 minced garlic clove
- Salt and black pepper
- 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 c. vegetable
- 1 1/2 c. bib lettuce, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 c. romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
- 1 c. chicory, coarsely chopped
- 3/4 c. water cress, stemmed and coarsely chopped.
- 2 tomatoes thinly sliced and halved into half-moon
- 2 chicken breasts meat cooked and coarsely diced
- 6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
- 3 hard-boiled eggs diced
- 1/3/4 c. Roquefort cheese, crumbled
- 1 avocado, pitted and coarsely diced
- 2 Tbsp. chives, finely chopped
- salt and pepper, lightly
- Mixing bowl
- Large 9" to 12" shallow round or oval serving dish
- Decorative salad tossing utensils
Prepare dressing: In a bowl blend the sugar and vinegar, add garlic, mustard, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Finally, whisk in the olive and vegetable oils.
Prepare salad 1: Arrange the greens starting in the middle of a large oval shallow dish. Spread on first layer, bib and romaine lettuce, chicory and watercress. Place them in a decorative design, usually vertical strips are used. Now start to artistically arrange diced chicken breasts, crumbled bacon, diced hard-boiled eggs and crumbled Roquefort cheese, also in elongated strips. Leave an inch and one half in the center.
Prepare salad 2: Thinly sliced tomatoes should be placed, cascading from the center. Diced ripe avocados are neatly placed on the outer rim of the serving dish. Sprinkle finely chopped chives evenly on top of the salad creation. Lightly salt and pepper.
Serve: At the dinner table, whisk the prepared salad dressing. Artistically pour over authentic Cobb salad, leaving a small amount as a side dressing. Toss in a dramatic fashion, perhaps someone could make a toast to celebrate the occasion. Serve generous amounts. Enjoy, as light humorous stories are told.
Tips & Warnings
- This version is the real thing. You can replace several greens choices with: spinach, kale, escarole.
- Use your imagination and artistically design a salad and dressing that works for you.