The Cobb salad is said to have originated at the Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles way back in the ’30s. The poster child for composed salads (where the ingredients are decoratively arranged rather than tossed), the Cobb is beautiful when the ingredients are presented in rows. But don’t feel pressured to do so; it tastes just as good tossed together.
Game plan: If tomatoes are not in their prime and you’re dying to make this salad, toss the chopped tomatoes with a pinch of salt and set them in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl for at least 10 minutes to boost their flavor.
12 ounces coarsely chopped romaine, Bibb, and watercress greens, washed, dried, and torn into bite-size pieces (about 10 cups)
Place greens in a nonreactive serving bowl and drizzle with vinaigrette. Toss to coat, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Arrange remaining ingredients decoratively over top of greens, season with freshly ground black pepper, and serve.
Beverage pairing:Adelsheim Pinot Gris, Oregon. This mixed bag of a salad could pair with any number of whites or light reds. But Pinot Gris from Oregon is a good call. Its medium body straddles the contrast between creamy avocado and crisp romaine. Its acidity handles vinegar and scallions. And its melon fruitiness makes a nice match with salty bacon.