Really? - Spinning Straw Into Gold Blog at - 283748

Spinning Straw Into Gold

Sep. 9, 2012 2:37 pm 
Updated: Jan. 21, 2013 12:20 pm

You guys know I used to be a food critic, right? True. In California, I was invited into the inner sanctum of the California Restaurant Writers Association. They audition you--I mean you have to go through an interview, screening and acceptance, and then you have to follow a set of guidelines, one of which is that you never trade your review for any goods or services. They want to make sure you are incognito, that you are truly giving an opinion not traded for gain, and that you are a real critic, not an advertiser. It is really quite an honor.

I say all that to let you know that I passed! That means my food reviews have some credibility. Oh, don’t start laughing. 

This is just to introduce to you how much I love food, talking about food, eating food, criticizing food, etc. I also subscribe to a few food sites, where they send me recipes. The best of these is where they have formed a truly meaningful community around sharing food stories, recipes, and even blogs. (My Spinning blog is on there.)

Today I received a recipe from Cooking Light, the magazine of which I used to read. Today’s recipe was for, get this, Cobb salad pizza. The name screams, “What?”


                          PhotoCredit: John Autry, styling, Mindi Shapiro

Maybe it’s just me, but that strikes me as hilarious. I mean, if you want a salad, why add bread underneath it, and frozen pizza dough bread even? Wouldn’t you want a nice, crusty whole grain aside your Cobb so you can enjoy the salad, fresh and cold without the baked white bread?

It also calls for mixed baby greens. So I had to do this research in order not to lose what of my mind I may still have left. Here’s what wikipedia says:

Various stories of how the salad was invented exist. One says that it came about in the 1930s at the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant, where it became a signature dish. It is named for the restaurant's owner, Robert Howard Cobb.[1] Stories vary as to whether the salad was invented by Cobb or by his chef, Chuck Wilson. The legend is that Cobb had not eaten until near midnight, and so he mixed together leftovers he found in the kitchen, along with some bacon cooked by the line cook, and tossed it with their French dressing.[2] This version of the story (dated to 1937) is retold in episode 3, season 2, of comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm, when Larry David searches for evidence to prove that another character has falsely claimed that his grandfather invented the salad.

Another version of the creation is that Robert Kreis, executive chef at the restaurant, created the salad in 1929 and named it in honor of Bob Cobb, the owner.[3] The same source confirms that 1937 was the reported date of the version noted above, with Cobb making the salad.

And here is what the original ingredients supposedly were:

iceberg lettuce, watercress, endive, Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, chicken breast, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, chives, Roquefort cheese, red-wine vinaigrette.

  Does this scream, please put frozen pizza dough under me?

The pizza Cobb deletes the original kinds of greens, substitutes the more trendy “mixed baby greens,” deletes the hard-boiled egg, substitutes blue cheese for Roquefort, which is not the same, and drizzles the whole mess with a white-, not red-wine vinaigrette, and the pizza salad version includes Dijon mustard.

Now I’m not saying you can’t adapt a recipe. I’m not even saying some might not find this pizza thing tasty. I’m just saying, it’s not a Cobb. Now, I ask you? And, Why? 

Now your turn to opine.

Sep. 9, 2012 4:14 pm
BTW: Yellow background and yellow type is hard on the Eyes. if you look at the "Cobb salad pizza" you could almost picture it as a Gyro. I say that's "Good Eats".
Sep. 9, 2012 5:03 pm
I used to read Cooking Light too, but their recipes got too wonky for me. This is the perfect example. So many of the recipes weren't really 'light' anymore either. Oh well... to each their own.
Sep. 9, 2012 5:10 pm
Hey King, thanks for the critique on the gold background. I agree. I won't do it again. Thanks for reading though and commenting. thanks Nancy also for your input. Please keep the comments coming. Marjorie
Sep. 10, 2012 4:29 am
Just by the title, it's a recipe I would bypass. Love salads tho! I had a subscription to Light and just passed issues on to my daughter - unread. Faster to find stuff online and I use my cookbooks less and less. Looking forward to more blogs, Marjorie. (Glad to read you are changing the color - couldn't make out some words).
Sep. 10, 2012 9:09 am
I do like Cooking Light, and I occasionally eat a Cobb Salad, although my version is heavily edited from the original. I think many times, the recipes are designed to be quick for busy people (hence the frozen dough). I understand that part, but (and I truly don't mean this to sound snobby), I do not use these kinds of products. I prefer from scratch where I can control the ingredients and avoid preservatives and chemicals. I have no problems with the recipe, though, because I can substiture as I please. I love pizza, and I love salad, but I've never cared for salad ON a pizza. I passed this one right by. But that's one of the great things about cooking; you can make what you want how you want. : )
Sep. 10, 2012 1:46 pm
I had a subscription to Cooking Light for MANY years! They have some great recipes and others that are just plain silly! My biggest thing with CL is they seemed (over the years) to repeat the same recipes issue after boring....Salad on pizza is kind of fun but not a serious culinary endeavor :)
Sep. 10, 2012 2:51 pm
The whole salad on pizza thing has been done to death around here, to the point that it is available at the beach shacks. It has been my experience that many "chefs" do not know the difference between a Cobb Salad and a Chef Salad and I personally do not want either on my pizza.
Sep. 12, 2012 2:11 pm
Great comments guys. Thanks so much.
Sep. 12, 2012 2:12 pm
What I enjoyed was researching the history of the Cobb.
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About Me
As a freelancer, I write about food, travel, entertainment and health. Publishing began as business/health writer for Orange County Business Journal, drama critic for Orange County Register, LA Times, and Irvine World News, and food critic for Orange County Register's 13 city papers. I follow hubby around the country, so next destination in IL/WI was freelancing for Stateline Business and Rock River Times (my Lunch with Marjorie column is still online there). Now in CT, I write about life in New England, travel, continue Lunch with Marjorie, and have other ventures happening. I have consolidated all my writings at Click on MENU for the growing list. Please leave comments! Thank you so much for reading. Marjorie
My favorite things to cook
breakfast scones, a myriad of stuffed peppers, frittatas, and lately Grouper.
My favorite family cooking traditions
sharing meals with family and friends
My cooking triumphs
grand marnier souffle, which my husband and I make together.
My cooking tragedies
kidney lasagne...hey, we were trying to save $$. lol
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