Classic American Cobb salad

Robert Cobb, the chef of the now-defunct Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles, threw together the first Classic Cobb salad on a whim one night when he had to satisfy Sid Grauman (1937).

Hollywood A-listers began ordering “Cobb’s salad” since it was so well received.

Like many other historic buildings in downtown Los Angeles (such as the Perinos restaurant and the Ambassador Hotel), the original Brown Derby restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard was demolished in the 1980s, making way for a sprawl of strip malls.

Cobb Salad

PREP TIME20 mins


SERVINGS4 servings

All lettuces should be rinsed, spun or patted dry, and coarsely chopped.


  • 1/2 head romaine
  • 1/2 head Boston lettuce
  • 1 small bunch frisée (curly endive)
  • 1/2 bunch watercress, coarse stems discarded
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 ripe avocados, seed removed, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 whole skinless boneless chicken breast (about 3/4 pound total), halved, cooked, and diced (see How to Poach Chicken)
  • 1 tomato, seeded and chopped fine
  • 2 hard-boiled large eggs, separated, the yolk finely chopped and the white finely chopped (see How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Roquefort


  1. Cook the bacon:in a skillet on medium heat until crisp on both sides. Remove from skillet and lay out on paper towels to absorb the excess fat. Allow the bacon to cool. Crumble the bacon and set aside.
  2. Toss the various lettuces:In a large salad bowl, toss together well the various lettuces and watercress.
  3. Compose the salad:Arrange the chicken, the bacon, the tomato, and the avocado decoratively over the greens and garnish the salad with the chopped egg and the chives.
  4. Make the vinaigrette:In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, the mustard, and salt and pepper to taste, add the oil in a slow stream, whisking, and whisk the dressing until it is emulsified.Stir in the Roquefort. Add sugar to taste, 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Whisk the dressing. Serve separately or toss in with the salad.