If you want a hearty, filling and satisfying salad, look no further than the Cobb Salad.
Cobb Salad is a classic American main course salad. The origin of the Cobb Salad dates back to 1937 when Robert Cobb, the owner of the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood, realised very late at night that he has been too busy to eat anything all day. He rummaged through the restaurants refrigerators (charmingly called ice-boxes back then) to collect some ingredients and then swiped some bacon from one of his chefs. He chopped everything up, and the result was the Cobb Salad. We may not have known about the salad if Robert Cobb had not also served it to his friend Sid Grauman (of Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood). Grauman loved the salad so much that the Brown Derby decided to add it to their menu, and the rest is history!
(makes 3-4 main course salads)
Dressing Ingredients: (makes 1/2 cup)
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced or very finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4-6 cups chopped salad greens (traditionally a combination of Romaine (Cos), Iceberg Lettuce, Endives and watercress. However, it also works well with only Romaine or Iceberg Lettuce if that is all you can find)
8-10 oz / 250g tomatoes, deseeded and chopped into bite-size pieces
2 ripe avocados (I prefer Hass avocados)
4 oz / 100g bleu cheese (traditionally, Roquefort was used but any crumbly blue cheese will work fine)
2 eggs, hardboiled (you can boil them on a rolling boil for 10-12 minutes, or buy them from them pre-cooked from the deli section of your supermarket)
6 pieces of bacon (turkey or pork), roughly chopped and crispy
2 raw skinless chicken breasts (alternatively, you can use pre-cooked chicken from leftovers or from a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket)
- Prepare the salad dressing by combining all dressing ingredients in a jar. Shake well and set aside (refrigerate if not serving within an hour).
- Eggs: Hard boil 2 eggs for 10-12 minutes on a rolling boil. You can cut out the cooking by buying pre-cooked hard-boiled eggs from the deli section of your supermarket. Allow the boiled eggs to cool a little (you can run cold water on them), and then peel. Chop the hard-boiled eggs with a knife or by using an egg-slicer. If you are using an egg-slicer, the best way to chop them up is by first putting an egg on the slicer and slicing through it horizontally (or vertically). Then, pick up the egg from both ends so that it stays in one piece, and place it in the egg-slicer vertically (or horizontally). Place the chopped hard-boiled egg in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Chicken: For the chicken, bring a small pot of water to the boil. As soon as the water has started boiling, put the raw chicken breasts (plus 1 tsp of salt and 1 bay leaf, optional) into the water. Simmer for 12-15 minutes, until the chicken is completely white throughout. Allow to cool slightly, and then chop into bite-size pieces.
- Bacon: Take 6 pieces of bacon and chop them up. In a frying pan, heat a little bit of oil (just enough to prevent sticking) on medium heat. When the oil is hot add the chopped bacon and fry until crispy. You can also grill the bacon in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 400F/200C if you prefer not to fry.
- Lettuce: Wash, dry and chop 4-6 cups of salad greens. You can use one type of lettuce or a mixture. Traditionally a mix of Romaine (Cos), Iceberg, endives and watercress is used. Lay the chopped greens on a large serving platter.
- Tomatoes: Cut your tomatoes in half and remove the seeds with a small spoon. Discard the seeds. Cut the tomatoes into bite-size pieces and set aside.
- Avocados: Cut your avocados in half, remove the stones and skin. Cut into bite-size pieces and set aside.
- Bleu cheese: Crumble your bleu cheese into a bowl using clean hands or a fork. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- When all the components of your salad are ready (tomatoes, avocados, bleu cheese, eggs, chicken and bacon), place them in rows on top of your lettuce leaves. Refrigerate for upto 24 hours until ready to serve. Serve with dressing on the side.