When I was about twelve years old my family and I went on vacation to Disney World. One thing I remember about the trip was visiting the Hollywood Brown Derby. I remember my parents sharing the famous Cobb Salad, which consists of finely chopped ingredients: a base of lettuce topped with bacon, hard cooked egg, blue cheese, avocado, turkey breast, and tomatoes, doused with the house-made French vinaigrette. The salad was tossed with the dressing table side, and our server told the story of the salad. Basically, the owner of the Brown Derby, Robert Cobb, “cobbled” the salad together late one night with whatever ingredients he could find. The server may have said something about the ingredients needing to be chopped up finely because one of the diner’s enjoying the salad bad teeth and couldn’t chew, but it’s possible I’m not remembering that right.
Anyway, I felt inspired to cobble my own Cobb Salad together because I happened to have some leftover smoked salmon from making Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Deviled Eggs, and the switch from turkey to salmon did not disappoint! Bacon is already smoky, and the salmon adds its own smoky flavor as well, making this Cobb salad even more savory. I made a version of lemony French dressing, and added dill to complement the fish. I referred to the recipe on Disney Food Blog, making some substitutions here and there to suit the salmon.
I also added beets, because in one of my favorite movies, Julie and Julia, the ladies are meeting for the “ritual Cobb salad” lunch, and as they order their salads, each lady omits a yummy topping. One of the toppings was beets. Every time I watch the movie I think “I should make a Cobb salad with beets”. Beets, however, are not one of the original toppings.
This recipes uses smoke roasted salmon, so it’s a fillet that has the texture of a cooked piece of fish with a smoky flavor. You can also use the cured smoked salmon. I used blue cheese in this recipe, which isn’t Paleo, but doesn’t bother me because I tolerate dairy well. Blue cheese is usually on the “no” list for gluten free diets, but based on this article, I feel like it’s a safe choice. Feel free to substitute chopped walnuts so you don’t sacrifice any richness by omitting the blue cheese.
Smoked Salmon Cobb Salad
For the dressing:
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
- Blend juice, vinegar, and mustard together in a small bowl. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
For the salad:
4 (packed) cups chopped butter lettuce
4 (packed) cups chopped romaine lettuce
8 oz smoked salmon flaked or chopped into small pieces
1 cup finely diced tomato
1 cup diced cooked beets
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
4 strips of bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese OR chopped walnuts
1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
2 tbsp minced chives
2 tbsp minced parsley
2 tbsp minced fresh dill
- In your serving bowl or individual salad bowl, add a layer of lettuce.
- Create rows of each ingredient over the lettuce. Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with herbs. Serve immediately.