To tell the truth, it’s not often that I get a hankering for a meal-sized salad. There’s a lot of chewing involved. But if I am going to sit down and enjoy a full salad, I prefer to eat something made with a wide variety of hearty ingredients. In that regard, Cobb Salad takes the cake: it’s basically lettuce and a bunch of solid, pleasurable mix-ins. No dainty ingredients like sprouts, no sir! Okay, sometimes Cobb recipes call for chives, but you get my point.
Both the salad and dressing used in today’s recipe come from California in the early 20th century. Bob Cobb, owner of the Brown Derby Restaurant in Hollywood during the 1930s, whipped up a quick salad for a friend with a toothache using leftovers found in his kitchen. He cut the ingredients up into small pieces so as not to exacerbate his friend’s condition. (Personally, I would have whipped up a pureed soup if my friend had a toothache.) Other stories contend that there was no toothache involved. Either way, the salad was such a hit that Cobb added it to his menu, and it took off from there. Green Goddess Dressing was made by a San Francisco chef in the 1920s, after a popular stage play of the same name. While the salad and dressing don’t traditionally go together (Cobb salad is usually served with red wine vinaigrette), I really like the pairing of the two. Plus, they each call for 1/2 an avocado, so in that sense, they fit together perfectly.
Special thanks to my friends at Pacific Merchants who donated the hand-carved acacia wood salad bowl for the picture you see above. Their 12″ bowl is both beautiful and sturdy; it’s a perfect size for a whopping salad like this one.
for the dressing:
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup full-fat greek yogurt
juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tbsp)
rind of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tsp), minced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp each chopped chives and fresh tarragon
1 tsp each salt and Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
for the salad:
2 heads romaine lettuce (or a mixture of lettuces), chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 avocado, sliced
1 2.25oz can sliced olives, drained
2 grilled chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 roma tomatoes, seeds removed, chopped
3oz cooked bacon, chopped
2oz bleu cheese, crumbled
Make no mistake about it, the real star of this show is the dressing. It’s incredibly flavorful and creamy, especially considering that it only uses 1/4 cup of yogurt as a base. To make it, combine all of the dressing ingredients and blend until well mixed. I used my handy Magic Bullet. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to marry.
The rest of the salad couldn’t be easier. Prep all of the ingredients above and throw them all together. Whether you want to make them pretty looking is up to you (and probably dependent on whether or not you’re going to be taking pictures of your meal).