“Cobb salads offer me a way to eat bacon and blue cheese while maintaining the appearance of control and self-righteousness.” seriouseats.com
To be fair, I am not much of a salad kind of guy. Sure, it is nice to have at the start of a meal but as a meal itself…no way, I’d just be hungry again in 30 minutes. Of course there is one salad which can definitely fill you up so that you might even skip dessert; the classic Cobb Salad. Whenever I see this on a restaurant menu I vacillate between it and other tasty looking meat entrées. What is it that make this ‘salad’ different from most of the others?
As the story goes this recipe for a Cobb salad dates back to 1930’s Los Angeles. The owner of the Brown Derby restaurant became a bit peckish one late evening. Searching though the restaurant fridge he found a virtual cornucopia of leftovers: roast chicken, hard-boiled eggs, avocados, tomatoes and blue cheese. Since most things taste better with crispy bacon, Cobb chopped all of them up, served over some chopped lettuce, and added some French dressing, thus the Cobb salad was born.
Of course you find many restaurants listing a ‘Cobb salad’ but if it doesn’t have at least blue cheese, avocado, and bacon, send it back. Below is the classic instructions for preparing your own Cobb salad at home. Bear in mind, though unnecessary for the finished result, the traditional salad calls for most ingredients to be chopped to roughly the same size.
This recipe serves 2-3 people
- one large head of lettuce – shredded
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, grilled or poached
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped (see an easy recipe here)
- 6 strips of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
- 2 ripe avocados, chopped
- 3 large tomatoes, diced
- ½ cup crumbled blue cheese (preferably Roquefort or Gorgonzola)
On a bed of shredded lettuce, arrange ingredients in rows and drizzle dressing to taste. To eat, just mix and enjoy.
- Penicillium Roqueforti and Penicillium Glaucum, the fungi that makes some cheese blue, was accidentally discovered after cheese makers left their cheeses to age in a cave.
- Blue cheese can’t go bad, it’s already bad when you buy it. That blue-green mold is what will give the cheese its distinctive taste. Of course it can turn ugly so keep it in the fridge.
- The avocado is an Aztec symbol of love and fertility. Since they don’t self-pollinate, they need another avocado tree nearby to bear fruit.
- Avocados are climacteric, meaning they mature on the tree but ripen on the ground.
- Avocados are one of few fruits with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat boosting good (HDL) and lowering bad (LDL) cholesterol.
- There are 10 grams of fiber in a medium avocado, along with 20 vitamins and minerals.
Thankfully now you can find avocados year round in most supermarket chains.