From ‘78 til ‘83, I broadcast “Meet Me at the Derby” from the fabled Hollywood Brown Derby, which became a page in history in ‘85. Most of the guests at my lunchtime “celebrity table” ordered the house specialty original Cobb Salad, named for legendary Bob Cobb who took over the Derby in ‘34 and originated its signature salad. Suffice to say I know a true Cobb when I lay eyes on it and, believe the Palate, what you find on today’s menu is little more than big chunks of lettuce and tomato with a choice of dressing never allowed at the Derby.
Pull out the food processor or, better yet, roll up your sleeves and prepare to knife-chop the original Derby recipe ingredients which I share with you today. You might even pass it on to your favorite restaurant or just dazzle your guests with the authentic dish.
Derby Cobb Salad (4-6 Portions)
½ head of iceberg lettuce
½ bunch watercress
1 small bunch of chicory
½ head of romaine
2 medium peeled tomatoes
2 breasts of boiled roasting chicken
6 crisp bacon strips
3 hard-cooked eggs
2 tblspn chopped chives
1/2 cup crumbled imported Roquefort
Derby French dressing (See secret recipe below)
Cut leaves, watercress and chicory finely, and arrange in salad bowl.
Cut tomatoes in half, remove seeds and dice thinly. Then arrange over top of chopped greens.
Dice chicken breasts and spread over greens.
Chop bacon finely and sprinkle over salad.
Cut avocado in small pieces and arrange around salad’s edge.
Sprinkle chopped eggs, chives and grated cheese over salad.
Apply dressing just before serving.
Derby French Dressing
1 cup water
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 tspn sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 1/2 tspn salt
1 tspn black pepper
1 tblspn Worcestershire sauce
1 tspn English mustard
1 clove chopped garlic.
3 cups vegetable oil
1 cup olive oil
Blend all ingredients except the oils.
Then add olive and vegetable oil.
Chill and shake before serving.
Store dressing in a tightly sealed jar in the fridge. Crackers or thin crisps of garlic cheese toast complete this treat from “the restaurant of the stars.”