Cobb Salad

Way back in 1926 (or some say 1929) a restaurant shaped like a hat opened near the Ambassador Hotel. This Hollywood legend was called The Brown Derby Restaurant. They not only had a reputation for good food but it was the center of the glamorous film industry during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Everyone and anyone of star quality dined at this famous establishment.  Have your heard of Cecil B. DeMille, the Barrymores or Rudolph Valentino? Later, two other restaurants opened on Hollywood and Vine and one in Beverley Hills. These photos come from The Brown Derby Restaurant Cookbook.

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One of the attractions of this establishment  was the Cobb Salad created by  Robert H. Cobb. According to legend Cobb, fixed a late-night meal from leftovers he found in the kitchen which included many of the ingredients below. There are many versions of this famous salad using different dressings or greens and adding the toppings you like the best.Basically, you can do what you want – it’s a salad to call your own!

Original Cobb Salad

Original 1929 Cobb Salad:

  • 2 whole chicken breasts, poached
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, torn into pieces
  • 1 head romaine, torn into pieces
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 1 bunch chicory
  • 4 tbsp. chives, minced
  • tomatoes, peeled and seeded (too funny as sometimes I peel my tomatoes if the skins are tough)
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 lb. bacon
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs
  • roquefort cheese
  • 2 cups dressing below

Dressing:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • juice of a lemon
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tbsp. dry mustard
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups salad oil

I tried a number of versions of this dressing, including the original above, and did not like any of them. I mean look at all of that oil, the salad would drown in all that dressing. I tried to tweak it but I never reached a good balance with the different ingredients.

Then recently in an American Test Kitchen magazine they commented how dull and muted the dressings were that they tested and created their own version which I like a lot and have posted. I have also included Martha Stewart’s dressing for Cobb Salad which is quite good as well.

I used all of the ingredients in the original salad except chicory. I used low-sodium bacon and low-fat blue cheese and Martha’s Cobb Salad Dressing. I also dressed each ingredient separately (greens, chicken and tomatoes). Then I added more dressing once the salad was assembled. By the way those are my cherry tomatoes and chives from my own garden!

You can mix all of the ingredients together with the dressing,  serve the dressing on the side or dress each ingredient separately. Your choice!

Recipe by cooking with aunt juju https://cookingwithauntjuju.com/2015/07/30/cobb-salad/

Cobb Salad Dressing by America's Test Kitchen

Cobb Salad Dressing by America’s Test Kitchen:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (they recommend Consulea)
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper

Combine above ingredients and mix well.

Recipe by cooking with aunt juju https://cookingwithauntjuju.com/2015/07/30/cobb-salad/ 

Martha Stewart's Cobb Salad Dressing

Martha Stewart’s Cobb Salad Dressing:

  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

Combine above ingredients and serve with your Cobb Salad.

Recipe by cooking with aunt juju https://cookingwithauntjuju.com/2015/07/30/cobb-salad/

I have also included three other favorites; a blue cheese dressing, balsamic vinaigrette and my Dad’s Irish Mist dressing.

Berghoff Blue Cheese Dressing

Berghoff Blue Cheese Dressing with Sourdough Croutons:

  • 1 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • couple dashes of Tabasco

Combine all dressing ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.

Sourdough Croutons:

  • homemade baguette
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. Tabasco (or any hot sauce such as Sriracha)
  • 1 cup blue cheese, crumbled

Cut the baguette into 1/4-inch slices. Brush one side with butter and Tabasco. Toast for a few minutes, sprinkle with blue cheese and broil until cheese melts.

Recipe by cooking with aunt juju https://cookingwithauntjuju.com/2015/07/30/cobb-salad/ 

Dad's Irish Mist Dressing

Dad’s Irish Mist Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup Irish Mist liqueur
  • 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 6 tbsp. canola oil

Combine above ingredients and serve over spinach or mixed greens.

Recipe by cooking with aunt juju https://cookingwithauntjuju.com/2015/07/30/cobb-salad/ 

My Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

My Balsamic Vinegar Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. fresh garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dark brown sugar to taste – I used 1 tbsp.

Combine above ingredients and serve over fresh greens.

Recipe by cooking with aunt juju https://cookingwithauntjuju.com/2015/07/30/cobb-salad/ 

My version for assembling:

Make the salad dressing of your choice.  To assemble: place a mixture of torn up greens and/or lettuces on a large platter. I prefer romaine and some watercress mixed with a little dressing. Combine the chicken with a little dressing and place on one end of the platter on top of the greens. Next comes the diced avocados, then diced eggs in different rows.  Place the cherry tomatoes or cut up tomatoes mixed with a little dressing at the far end of the platter. Sprinkle with the blue cheese, pea shoots or chives and bacon evenly over the entire salad.

Summertime is all about salads and fresh produce that are so plentiful in all of the markets. I am sharing these wonderful salad ideas and a bit of American history with the party goers at Fiesta Friday. Please join Angie, Loretta and Jess as we celebrate another glorious week.

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I just love my flower salad servers…

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Over the Fourth of July weekend I made this huge salad while experimenting with different dressings. What started out as a Cobb Salad became an extravaganza of sorts – we had all kinds of goodies to put on our salads and everyone loved it 🙂

Toppings included: small artichoke hearts, avocado slices, bacon bits, beets sliced, blue cheese crumbled, broccoli florets, carrot slivers, cashews, cauliflower florets, chicken tenders (I did marinate the chicken for added flavor), corn, homemade croutons, cucumbers, sliced eggs, pickled jalapeno slices, black olives, red onions, red peppers, peppadew peppers, pepperoncini and tomatoes.

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27 thoughts on “Cobb Salad

  1. Welcome Judi, and my my what a treat you’ve brought us all – the Fiesta crowd is gonna love all the variations. I love Cobb salad myself, I didn’t know it’s origins, but now I do :). We too have a Brown Derby Restaurant not far from where we live, with good old-fashioned home cooking. I love your salad serving spoons, most unusual! Are they antique, where did you find them? I like the idea of a salad party, each one can make up their own, and oh so healthy too. Thanks for bringing all of these great ideas, always nice to visit with you. Happy weekend!

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    • Thanks a bunch Loretta – salads are favorites and I am sure you are enjoying many from your community garden. The salad servers are by Mariposa and I have a beautiful bowl shaped like a flower pot that matches. Love kitchen gadgets that are also garden gadgets… What we did over the Fourth is a favorite way to serve a salad – lots of fresh greens, toppings and choices of dressing – everyone is always happy 🙂 Happy FF!

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    • It sure is Jess – I love to do research on certain recipes and this was a fun one. Bought the cookbook on the internet and there are lots of good pictures of actors of the Golden Age and of course more recipes.

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  2. Ha! I hadn’t noticed the 3 cups of oil – I was still wondering why there was a cup of water in the dressing!!! Great post – if love your different recipes. And the fact that you did a cobb salad make-your-own buffet is just brilliant!

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    • You wonder how recipes are created sometimes – I mean it just did not sound good and it definitely wasn’t. The make-your-own-salad was a favorite that weekend – not everyone likes the same dressing or the same toppings. Thanks so much…

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