This traditional American Cobb salad consists of bacon, avocado, chicken breast, tomato, hard-boiled egg, chives, and other salad fixings artfully piled above a bed of romaine, Boston, frisée, and watercress.
The Gold Standard
To feed Sid Grauman late at night, Robert Cobb of the now-defunct Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles threw up the first Cobb salad on a whim (1937). Famous actors and actresses began ordering “Cobb’s salad,” and its fame quickly grew.
Like many other historic buildings in downtown Los Angeles (such as the Perinos and the Ambassador Hotel), the original Brown Derby restaurant on Wilshire Blvd. was demolished in the 1980s, making way for an expanse of strip malls. My time at the Brown Derby will always be in my heart.
When I was a youngster, we lived within a few blocks of a building that looked like a giant brown hat. The Golden Age of Hollywood may be over, but at least the salad lives on.
- 1/2 head romaine
- 1/2 head Boston lettuce
- 1 small bunch frisée (curly endive)
- 1/2 bunch watercress, coarse stems discarded
- 6 slices bacon
- 2 ripe avocados, seed removed, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 whole skinless boneless chicken breast (about 3/4 pound total), halved, cooked, and diced
- 1 tomato, seeded and chopped fine
- 2 hard-boiled large eggs, separated, the yolk finely chopped and the white finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
- 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
- Salt and pepper
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely grated Roquefort
Step-1: To get the bacon nice and crispy:
- Fry it in a pan over medium heat.
- Take out of the pan and place on paper towels to soak off the oil.
- Take your time and let the bacon cool.
- Prepare the bacon crumbles and keep them aside.
Step-2: Scattered Lettuce Toss: Mix all the lettuce and watercress in a big salad dish.
Step-3: Salad ingredients are: Arrange the chicken, bacon, tomato, and avocado in an attractive pattern on the leaves, then top with the chopped egg and chives.
Step-4: To make the vinaigrette, combine the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper to taste in a small bowl; whisk in the oil in a slow stream while stirring, and continue whisking until the dressing is emulsified. Mix in the Roquefort. You may sweeten it to your liking by adding sugar, 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Sauce: whisk it up! You may eat it on its own or mix it with the salad.
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