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~The Cool History behind the Composed Cobb Salad~

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d28e7ab9970cThe Cobb salad, affectionately called the California Cobb, was invented in 1937 at Hollywood's Brown Derby Restaurant by the owner, Robert Cobb.  As the story goes, it's said to have been composed for some hungry late night diners.  Mr. Cobb carefully chose from a variety of uniformly sliced and diced ingredients from the day's fare, arranging them in unusually neat lines atop a bed of lettuce as he plated.  Another tale (of woe) says that Mr. Cobb threw the salad together to satisfy the appetite of a loyal customer to came into the restaurant complaining of a toothache, so, Cobb kindly sliced the ingredients finely, so they wouldn't need to be chewed.  Shortly thereafter, his work-of-art salad became a famous menu item, remaining very much the same to this day.

The ingredients for a classic Cobb salad are very specific.  

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d28e2953970cSaid to have been inspired by the chef's salad, a Cobb salad is a "composed salad", meaning, they're pretty-to-look-at, arranged-on-a-plate, high-quality, meals unto themselves -- a perfectly-balanced mixture of color, flavor and texture. That said, while the Cobb and chef salad are both composed, they are distinctly different  In the case of the chef's salad, at the discretion of the chef, a combination of impeccably-fresh vegetables and perfectly-cooked protein(s) get carefully-selected and meticulously sliced, diced, minced, julienned or chiffonade -- it's a cooking lesson.  

In the case of the Cobb salad, the ingredients are quite specific.  It starts with a lettuce mixture, typically, iceberg, romaine and a few bitter greens too, which dramatically afters the flavor profile of the salad, making it much more interesting.  While poached or roasted chicken breast is classic, ham is sometimes substituted, and crisply-fried bacon always makes an appearance. Other must-haves are: hard-cooked egg, avocado, tomato, and, blue or roquefort cheese.  Buttery croutons add the crunch and a red-wine vinaigrette (no creamy dressing) pulls it all together.

For a fun twist, try my Open-Faced Sandwich-Style Cobb salad:

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d28e3f4b970cCheck out The Cool History behind the Composed Chef Salad:

IMG_2218"We are all in the food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyrigh 20201)


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