Many restaurants around Baton Rouge serve what they call a Sensation salad. It seems to have been created by a man named Jake Staples for a restaurant called The Place. Or perhaps another called Bob & Jake’s. One thing is certain: it is as much a part of Baton Rouge dining as Caesar salad is among Italian-American eateries. The salad has appeared in New Orleans a few times, never getting a toehold, for some reason. I often get requests for the recipe, however.
As is true for most salads, use ice-cold greens, torn instead of chopped. Toss them with the dressing right before you serve the salad.
- 3 Tbs. lemon juice
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 Tbs. salt
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- 4 oz. olive oil
- 5 oz. vegetable oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, chopped very fine
- 1 cup finely grated Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, finely chopped
1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or a quart-size jar. Add 1/4 cup of cold water. Whisk the mixture in the bowl or shake the jar up until the ingredients are well blended. Refrigerate.
2. When ready to serve, combine the cheeses and the chopped parsley on a bowl or jar. By hand, tear up leaves of a head of romaine and a head of Boston or Bibb or butter lettuce. (Feel free to add other kinds of greens, but stay away from bitter greens like endive or radicchio.)
3. Toss the salad with about two-thirds the amount of dressing your instincts tell you, and with a little bit more cheese mixture than you were considering. Add more dressing or cheese to taste.
Serves eight to twelve.