Mr. Cobb’s Famous Salad, A Beautiful Meal

We have all seen Cobb salad on menus may be some of you have tried it and liked it. Here is a chance for you to try the original recipe handed down from one in the know Mrs.Cobb herself.* This is the salad that the stars of the silver screen loved, you know Sinatra, Davis, Bogart, Tracy, Olivier, and Leigh dined, partied and romanced at Brown Derby tables, Bogart, Carole Lombard and John Wayne. After all, it is where Lucille Ball and William Holden had their legendary disaster of a lunch on the classic “Hollywood At Last!” episode of I Love Lucy:

BROWN DERBY COBB SALAD

  1. 1/2 head Iceberg lettuce (or Boston Bibb)
  2. 1/2 cup watercress, coarsely chopped
  3. 1/2 cup bunch chicory, (alternative: Escarole) coarsely chopped
  4. 1/2 head romaine
  5. 2 medium tomatoes, peeled
  6. 2 chicken breasts, steamed or poached, and diced
  7. 6 strips bacon, cooked until crisp crumbled
  8. 1 avocado
  9. 3 boiled eggs, hard cooked
  10. 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
  11. 1/2 cup Roquefort cheese or blue cheese crumbles
  12. 1 cup Brown Derby French Dressing

Finely chop greens and transfer to a large salad bowl.

Wash and remove any green core, stem end and seeds from tomatoes that have been sliced into halves. Dice into 1/2-inch cubes and place atop the chopped greens.

Top with the diced chicken breasts.

Crumble the bacon and sprinkle evenly over the salad.

Remove pit and chop avocado into small pieces. Add to salad.
Sprinkled chopped eggs and grated cheese over all and garnish with chopped chives.

Note: it is better to keep all of these items in separate bowls until you are ready to serve the salad. That way you don’t have tomato juices running through the lettuce and other items making everything soggy. Then platter them as seen in the photo.

Do not dress the salad until serving time. At serving time, add the French Dressing (below) and toss well at the table.
Makes about 5 generous servings.

Brown Derby French Dressing:

  1. 1 cup red wine or Chianti vinegar
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1 teaspoon sugar
  4. pinch of fresh thyme
  5. juice of 1/2 lemon
  6. 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  7. 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  8. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  9. 1 teaspoon Coleman’s English mustard
  10. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  11. 4 cups Bertolli light extra virgin olive oil

In a blender, combine vinegar, water, sugar, thyme, lemon, salt and pepper, Worcestershire, dry mustard, and garlic. Blend for 30 seconds then remove the cap from blender top and drizzle in olive oil slowly until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use. Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes before using and shake vigorously to combine. Keeps for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator.
Yield: about 1 1/2 quarts.

This recipe adapted from “Brown Derby Restaurant” by Sally Wright Cobb  (out of print)

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