Cobb Salad with Brown Derby Dressing

In Olympic news yesterday, Michael Phelps won gold in the 100m butterfly, which is is final individual Olympics race. Yesterday was the first day of events inside the Olympic Stadium, where track and field events are held. After beating Japan, the Russian women’s volleyball team remains undefeated in these Olympic Games. Today, there are twenty-five gold medals to be awarded in eleven different sports.

Today marks the halfway point in the Summer Olympics 2012 feature. I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I’ve enjoyed cooking (and eating) my way through fare representing the host cities of Olympics past. The 1984 Summer Olympics were held in Los Angeles, California (which had previously hosted the 1932 Games). In response to the boycott at the 1980 Moscow Games, fourteen countries boycotted the 1984 Los Angeles Games.  Despite the boycott, a record (at the time) 140 nations competed in the 1984 Summer Olympics. Though the Games were criticized for relying heavily on corporate sponsorship, the Los Angeles Summer Olympics turned a considerable profit and became the model for Olympic Games going forward. Rhythmic gymnastics, synchronized swimming, the women’s cycling road race, and a marathon for women all made their debut at the 1984 Summer Olympics.

I decided that the famous Cobb salad would be a fitting entry for this series. The Cobb salad was created, as legend has it, at LA’s famed Brown Derby restaurant by its owner Robert Cobb. Cobb went foraging around the restaurant kitchen, hungry, and put together various ingredients to make what we now call the Cobb salad. There are many opinions as to what the original Cobb salad dressing was (some say French, some say Russian, some say vinaigrette), so I went with a red wine vinaigrette and it was fantastic. I will say, Cobb salad is a lot of work, and even using the bare minimum of ingredients made me enough salad for two people. The work is worth it, as the flavors all work so well together (some of the labor could even be performed ahead of time). This is a great salad for lunch, and substantial enough for dinner.

Cobb Salad

Ingredients:

for the salad:

  • 1/4 head of iceberg lettuce, torn into bite size pieces (about 2 Cups)
  • 1/4 head of Romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces (about 2 Cups)
  • 1 medium tomato (I used a plum tomato), chopped
  • 6 strips of crisp cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 C. crumbled blue cheese

for the dressing:

  • 1/4 C. water
  • 1/4 C. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. dry ground mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 C. olive oil

Directions:

To make the salad, combine the iceberg and romaine lettuce in a large bowl, toss to combine, and then spread on a large dinner plate or serving platter.

Arrange remaining salad ingredients in rows on top of the combined lettuces.

To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a container with a lid that seals (I used a mason jar). Shake to combine all ingredients.

Refrigerate dressing until ready to serve, and shake well before pouring over salad.

Makes 2 generous servings.

Source: adapted from Kitchen Project

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