For this year’s Independence Day I made one of my family’s favorite salads, the Cobb Salad. I know it’s not in the patriotic red, white and blue colors, but it’s a classic American salad and it goes perfectly with any 4th of July BBQ.
In the late 1920’s a man named Robert Howard Cobb created this signature dish from his famous Hollywood restaurant, The Brown Derby (or so it’s believed). Like many remarkable creations this salad originated from an incidental occurrence where a need for a quick meal turned out to become an American classic still today.
The key ingredient to any Cobb Salad is the Roquefort cheese dressing. When drizzled over the bed of chopped vegetables and the salty bite of the bacon, it tastes delicious. After a taste you are sure to become a fan of Roquefort cheese (or blue cheese) if not already. An addition of sliced grilled chicken is often a favorite, but I choose to leave this out for personal preference. With that being said you can be as versatile as you like with the salad ingredients. Just don’t change the dressing! And for a vegetarian Cobb Salad simply leave out the bacon and chicken.
Happy birthday America! Cheers!!
Recipe adapted from What’s America Cooking
An American Classic Salad.
- FOR THE DRESSING:
- 1 ounce (approx 28g or 2 tablespoons) crumbled Roquefort cheese or blue cheese
- 1/4 cup good quality red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely-ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- FOR THE SALAD:
- 6 hard-boiled eggs
- 12-15 bacon slices
- 3 heads romaine lettuce (or any other lettuce of choice), chopped
- 3 avocados, pitted, peeled and diced
- 3 tomatoes, chopped
- 100g (1/4 pound) Roquefort or blue cheese
- 1 bunch of fresh cilantro (coriander), chopped
- Step 1 MAKE THE DRESSING: In a small bowl whisk together the red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Using a fork, mash in the 1 ounce of cheese to make a paste. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil to form a thick dressing. Makes 1-1/2 cups of dressing. Cover and set aside in the fridge to cool while you prepare the salad.
- Step 2 FOR THE SALAD: Preheat the oven to 395 degrees F (200 degrees celsius). With a baking sheet lay the bacon slices and bake until crisp. Take out of the oven and transfer bacon slices on a paper towl lined plate. When cool, crumble and set aside.
- Step 3 Peel and slice the eggs into 1/2-inch dice. Set aside.
- Step 4 Make a bed of romaine lettuce on a platter, shallow bowl or individual serving plates. Arrange the bacon, eggs, cilantro, avocados, tomatoes and the 1/4 pound Roquefort or blue cheese in a neat pattern atop the lettuce, covering the lettuce almost completely.
- Step 5 Drizzle the prepared dressing over the salad.
- Step 6 Set the remaining dressing in a serving dish for those that desire extra dressing.