Definition - a tossed salad made typically with chopped chicken or turkey, tomatoes, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, blue cheese, and lettuce and dressed with a vinaigrette
The etymology of the Cobb salad is rife with bloodshed, intrigue, and cryptography, as all the best salad recipes should be…. Actually, that’s not true at all, but the word does have a degree of uncertainty to its origin. The salad was probably named after Robert H. Cobb, a mid-century American restaurateur.
The name for the salad was not in use before the late 1940s, but there is evidence that this particular Cobb was concerned with salads well before then. An article in the Los Angeles Times from 1937 describes how a group of restaurateurs (“the combined culinary ingenuity of leading restaurateurs in Hollywood”) were combining their talents for a benefit dinner; Robert Cobb is listed among the names, and he was said to be contributing salad. So either Cobb was working on perfecting his soon-to-be-famous dish way back then, or he was just the kind of guy who would come to a fancy potluck bearing a small salad. You know, that guy.
This couple like good food and they know how to prepare it, or order it as the case might be. Two portions of Cobb salad they thought would be enough for the three of us. But when the order came it was sent back. Too small!
—Lucille Leimert, Los Angeles Times, 3 Jan. 1947