Basic Cobb Salad

Basic Cobb Salad

The Brown Derby restaurant, which opened its doors in 1929, was as famous a part of Hollywood's golden age as Mann's Chinese Theater or Schwab's drugstore. It was a meeting place and hangout for such stars as Cecil B. DeMille, the Barrymores, and Rudolph Valentino, as well as many Hollywood hopefuls. According to legend, the Brown Derby made a lasting contribution to American cuisine when its manager, Bob Cobb, fixed a late-night meal from leftovers he found in the kitchen, including chicken, bacon, avocado, tomatoes, and hard-boiled eggs. He placed them on a bed of lettuce, drizzled them with dressing, and single-handedly invented the Cobb salad. Like the Caesar salad, the basic Cobb has inspired countless variations, including this delicious version.


  • ¾ pound thick-sliced bacon, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard powder

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

  • cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 small head romaine, (about 5 cups), washed, spun dry, and torn into bite-size pieces

  • 1 medium bunch watercress, leaves and 1-inch stem, washed and spun dry

  • 1 pound roasted turkey breast, sliced ¼ inch thick

  • ¼ pound Maytag blue cheese, roughly crumbled

  • 2 large hard-boiled eggs, thinly sliced

  • 1 medium tomato, cut into ¼-inch wedges

  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, sliced

  • 1 medium Hass avocado, peeled and cut into ¼-inch wedges

  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped tarragon

  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped chervil

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley


  1. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and vinegar. In a slow, steady stream, whisk in oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  3. Arrange romaine and watercress on a large serving platter. Arrange turkey, blue cheese, eggs, tomatoes, avocado, and bacon in sections on top of the greens. Sprinkle with chopped herbs. Pour dressing over salad. Serve immediately.

Related Articles