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The sparrows in the Tree of Heaven in my backyard are tweeting like something out of Disney central casting, and the sky has that big, high-summer look that makes you feel like a teenager on a lake with a head full of music every time you look up.  I can honestly report that the only thing I miss about being at the office these days (aside from my stellar workmates) is the Cobb salad from Le Gourmand, dressing on the side.

I made one for dinner this week, after craving it for days. I blame the outsized craving on Wayne, who brought home a giant tub of Turtle ice cream (possibly also inspired by the high-summer times). We started eating one disgustingly sweet cone apiece, every night after supper.

These fat bombs have made my palate crave more of the same.

No salad but a Cobb salad could possibly do the trick. In addition to roast chicken or turkey, it contains avocado, blue cheese, hard-boiled egg, tomatoes, green onion and bacon.

Excuse me, but avocado, blue cheese and bacon all in one sitting – that’s what I call a fries-and-gravy salad. It was the only salad that could possibly tide me over till morning sans Turtle ice cream.

I boiled the eggs while I chopped up the veg – everything but the tomato. I simply lacked the will.

Then – the exciting part – I made the dressing based on the original recipe from The Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood, California, where the first Cobb was conceived in 1937 by the Derby’s owner, Bob Cobb. (Swear to god.)

It’s an oil-and-vinegar dressing, but quite different from my standard Italian go-to. It turns out the distinctive flavour comes from worchestershire, sugar, and a little bit of lemon (who puts lemon in an oil-and-vinegar dressing?). The taste is absolutely diner.

The recipe above makes a jar full, which I was greatly pleased by, paving the path, as it tends to when the dressing’s already made and sitting in the fridge, to extensive salad-eating this week.

There was one non-standard addition: a substitute for the bacon for Wayne the vegetarian. I Googled to see what the other crazy vegetarians are doing for a salt-fat-umami hit and it turns out they’re frying provolone! Well done, crazy vegetarians.

The Frills was out of provolone so we used mozzarella, which was definitely too melty. We don’t own anything non-stick (as per the c.v.’s instructions), so Wayne fried it in an ungodly amount of oil. It turned out looking like an edible shadow puppet. Gormless horse:

Still, broken up, it delivered a whallopping salt-fat-umami kick.

You can see why, visually, it would have been a good idea to summon the will to chop the tomatoes:

In any case, a delicious, rib-sticking salad, best eaten outdoors while looking up.


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Words of Wayne

Look at what Wayne discovered on his breakfast plate (medium: banana string). It's the Playboy Banana. I ask you, Dr. Freud: How does he find this stuff? If he could have, he would have put it in his cherished Food Oddities mug, along with the treble-clef pretzel and the Bill Clinton potato chip.


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