Every year 31,000 Cobb Salads are served at the Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
The original recipe for the dressing was created in 1926 and still tops the salad.
Here’s the official story – or legend, if you will – as recorded by the Brown Derby itself:
“One night in 1937, Bob Cobb, then owner of The Brown Derby, prowled hungrily in his restaurant’s kitchen for a snack. Opening the huge refrigerator, he pulled out this and that: a head of lettuce, an avocado, some romaine, watercress, tomatoes, some cold breast of chicken, a hard-boiled egg, chives, cheese and some old-fashioned French dressing. He started chopping. Added some crisp bacon — swiped from a busy chef.
“The Cobb salad was born. It was so good, Sid Grauman (Grauman’s Chinese Theatre), who was with Cobb that midnight, asked the next day for a ‘Cobb Salad.’ It was so good that it was put on the menu.
“Cobb’s midnight invention became an overnight sensation with Derby customers, people like movie mogul Jack Warner, who regularly dispatched his chauffeur to pick up a carton of the mouth-watering salad.”
Cobb Salad with French Dressing from the Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
1/2 head iceberg lettuce
1/2 bunch watercress
1 small bunch chicory
1/2 head romaine lettuce
2 medium tomatoes, blanched & peeled
1 1/2 cups cooked turkey breast, diced
3 eggs, hard-cooked
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
6 strips crisp bacon, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Chop all greens very fine (reserve some watercress for presentation) and arrange in salad bowl.
Cut tomatoes in half, remove seeds, and dice fine.
Also dice the turkey, avocado, & eggs.
Arrange the above ingredients, as well as the blue cheese and bacon crumbles, in straight lines across the greens.
Arrange the chives diagonally across the above lines.
Present the salad at the table, then toss with the dressing. (below)
Place on chilled plates with a watercress garnish.
Brown Derby Old-Fashioned French Dressing
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon English mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups salad oil
Blend all ingredients except oils, then add olive oil and salad oils and mix well.
Blend well again before mixing with salad.