TKW’s Cobb Salad


It seems like everyone has a dish that they judge a restaurant by.  For some it’s hamburgers, or steaks or seafood and in the case of my son-in-law Jodus daughter Leah, it’s the Cobb Salad (evidently my memory is going faster than I thought, my daughter corrected me, she’s the one that judges by it…see the comments).  It is by this salad alone whether the restaurant gets a thumbs up, a meh or a thumbs down.  I see why he she uses it as a measure.  It’s a fairly simple composed salad but if the freshest ingredients aren’t used and the dressing isn’t right the salad is a total bomb.  Really what better way to measure a restaurant than my a simple salad composed of many ingredients.

I always thought that the name Cobb Salad was odd, since there wasn’t any cob (as in corn) in the salad.  I’ve had this very conversation with my family and friends.  Can you picture a ‘Seinfield’ type moment at a restaurant with a conversation that may have gone something like this:

“What does it mean by Cobb salad?”

“If there is no cob, how can you call it a Cobb salad?”

“And who spells Cobb with two b’s?”

“Is a spelling error, a menu misprint?”

“If it’s just a menu error, then why isn’t there any cob in the Cobb salad?”

“Excuse me miss (to the waitress), can you explain why there is no cob in a Cobb salad and why it’s spelled with two b’s?”

For some reason in my mind I thought Cobb salad had baby corn cob in it, hence the ‘Cobb’ part of the salad.  I guess I just thought spelling it with two b’s was to make it look unique, like exchanging s for z. 


It turns out that the Cobb salad is actually named after Bob Cobb, the owner of the famous Brown Derby restaurant (an iconic Los Angeles chain of restaurants that was synonymous with Hollywood’s Golden Age).  The story goes that in 1937 after a long day, Bob was quite tired and his chef cobbled together  a salad of leftover items and fresh bacon (hehe, cobbled together…I‘m so punny). 

A little definition from Wikipedia:

The Cobb salad is a main-dish American garden salad made from chopped salad greens (iceberg lettuce, watercress, endives, and Romaine lettuce), tomato, crisp bacon, boiled or roasted (not fried) chicken breast, hard-boiled egg, avocado, chives, Roquefort cheese, and red-wine vinaigrette. Black olives are also often included.

I took some liberties with my Cobb salad, I used a variety leaf lettuces, I roasted my tomatoes, and used ham versus chicken (because that’s what I had on hand).  And for the dressing I used a champagne vinegar (it’s my fav) and used agave versus sugar to cut the acidity a bit.

Unfortunately Jodus Leah wasn’t here to test my version of a Cobb salad so I’ll never know if it measured up. But McGyver and both gave it a thumbs up, so that’ll have to do.


Here’s a food bloggers photography tip: When photographing salads, unless it’s vitally important to the salad, photograph it without the dressing.  If the salad must be photographed with dressing, then dress it at the last possible moment and quickly fire away.  Dressing a salad causes it to immediately start to wilt and can cause weird little highlights.


TKW’s Cobb Salad
Yields 2
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  1. 2 to 3 cups mixed salad greens
  2. 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved and roasted*
  3. 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
  4. 1 avocado, sliced
  5. 1 cut ham, diced
  6. 2 green onions, white and green parts diced
  7. 2 slices thick cut bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  8. 1/4 cup Roquefort cheese, crumbled
  9. 1/4 cup kalamata or black olives, halved
  1. 1/3 cup mild vinegar (red wine or champagne)
  2. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  3. 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  4. 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (like Coleman's)
  5. 14 teaspoon agave
  6. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  7. 2/3 cup olive oil
  8. Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Assemble the salad: Place the mixed greens on the bottom. Arrange the tomatoes, egg, ham, olives, avocado and cheese on top. Sprinkle with green onions and bacon. Serve the dressing on the side.
  2. Dressing: In a medium bowl or dressing mixer, whisk together, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, agave and garlic. Then slowly whisk in oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. *To roast tomatoes, preheat oven to 400F. Spread halved tomatoes on a baking sheet drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes then stir, and roast for another 10 minutes.
The Kitchen Witch
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19 Responses to TKW’s Cobb Salad

  1. Leah December 4, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    I’m the one that judges restaurants by their Cobb Salad! Jodus judges based on their Caesar!

    • Giggles December 4, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

      Well, I totally got that one mixed up. Hehe, never mind, I’ll fix it!

      • Kitchen Butterfly December 15, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

        And you did……mostly. You’ll need to change the ‘he’ on the 4th line to she. But yes, we all have a measure for something.

        • Giggles December 16, 2012 at 5:14 am #

          Oz, Indeed my he needed to be a she, change done. Glad you like the photography tips.

  2. Gaël December 4, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    Really interesting article and recipe! I have a question though: would it be any good if I replaced the bacon – and chicken – with [canned] fish? I’m asking because I recently switched to a pescetarian diet.

    • Giggles December 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

      I think that you could easily leave out the bacon and replace the meat with fish. The dressing would go well with fish. I would reconsider the cheese also, as it doesn’t typically pair well with seafood.

  3. Debra December 4, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    I love your Seinfeldesque dialogue here! 🙂 I have always thought Cobb Salad was an interesting name—definitely doesn’t do justice to yours! A Delicious TKW Salad would be more like it and more descriptive.

    • Giggles December 5, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

      Debra, I’m glad someone appreciates my dialogue…sometimes I’m the only that thinks I’m funny.

  4. Janice December 4, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Rhonda, thanks for all of these food-styling photography tips–they are so helpful. And I do enjoy your use of puns. . .the fun guy and the cobbled together Cobb salad. . .you are good.

    • Giggles December 5, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

      Janice, Glad the tips are helpful. Wish I knew some of this stuff a long time ago. It’s a good thing you enjoy my puns because I can’t help myself!

  5. bonkrood December 4, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

    I am obsessed with the Mackenzie Cobb at MacKenzie River Pizza Co. It is the bar by which every restaurant cobb will be judged. I go rogue on the dressing and get one Greek and one Thai so I can swap out my dipping.

    • Giggles December 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

      Are you kidding me, MacKenzie River had a great Cobb salad? Okay, next time I go I’m giving it a try.

  6. Karen December 5, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    Oh man, does that salad ever look good. Wishing I had the stuff to make one for dinner!

    • Giggles December 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

      The great thing about this salad is that it’s a meal in itself!

  7. Lea Ann December 5, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    I’ve had this original Bob Cobb salad recipe saved for a couple of years and have never made it. I think it was in Saveur Magazine. Anyway, this just looks beautiful Rhonda. And great tip about photographing. I bet I’ve always shot is dressed.

  8. Veronica December 14, 2012 at 12:32 am #

    I love that you share tips on photography with us, thank you for that! Pretty sure I’ve shared my fair share of wilted salad pics! Oops. Your salad is the bomb, and I love your changes. The ham looks especially good to me. Maybe I don’t’ eat out enough but I don’t judge restaurants by one dish, I always order whatever sounds good to me at the time and it’s never the same thing. And and I must be good, I figured it must be named after the guy who invented it, like German chocolate, thanks for the history lesson on that! I like your punniness too. 🙂

    • Giggles December 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

      Veronica, I tend to be like you, never ordering the same thing. I like to go with the restaurant specialty first. But then again, if their own signature dish isn’t good I can imagine that the rest isn’t that good either.

  9. Kitchen Butterfly December 15, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

    I like the salad. I love the different elements, and how you treated each one to draw out the most flavour. I hail your Cobb salad, and like many have said before me – the photography tips are great. What a way to give.

  10. Cheryl January 7, 2017 at 10:47 am #

    Thank you and especially your daughter for getting this right! I also judge a restaurant by their Cobb Salads. If they can’t spell nor care about getting classic dished correct then what other corners are they cutting? Good to see your post.