There is some controversy regarding the history of the Cobb salad. Some report that the owner of L.A.’s famous Brown Derby restaurant, Robert Cobb, created it himself in the late 20’s or early 30’s; others say it was his head chef that created it, and still others say the chef created it and named it for the owner. (Those of you who watch the show “Curb Your Enthusiasm” may recall an episode where the origin of the salad is questioned.) Our theory is that “Cobb” is actually short for “cobble,” in that this salad was simply cobbled together with various ingredients. Regardless of its past, it’s a tasty salad that, when done the right way, bursts with flavors and can be relatively healthy. This recipe features most of the usual Cobb salad ingredients, with a nice shallot-infused vinaigrette with a hint of mustard. The real key to a good Cobb is the freshness of the turkey or chicken. We bought a rotisserie-cooked turkey breast at the market and chopped it up; it really elevated the salad to a new level. The bacon and blue cheese add some saltiness and tang, the tomatoes give it sweetness and some acidity, and the buttery avocado adds some creaminess that really ties it all together. Plus the dressing really brings out the flavors well. It’s a simple version of a simple dish – but when the simple things are done right, it’s always delicious. Enjoy!
The MHK’s Cobb-led Together Salad
1 shallot, minced
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. spicy/Dijon mustard
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ cup olive oil
1 head leaf lettuce (Boston, butter, green), chopped
2 cups cooked turkey or chicken breast, chopped
4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
1 Roma tomato, diced
2 oz. blue cheese crumbles
1 ripe avocado, sliced
Mix the first five ingredients together in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil. Arrange lettuce on plates. Top with turkey, bacon, tomato, cheese, and avocado. Drizzle dressing over each salad. Eat!