Sensation Salad

Many restaurants around Baton Rouge serve what they call the 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.

  • Dressing ingredients
  • 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
  • Greens
  • 1 cup finely grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, finely chopped
  • 1 head of romaine, iceberg, Boston, Bibb, or butter lettuce

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.

12 Readers Commented

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  1. Frank on February 18, 2014

    Where’s the ice-cold iceberg lettuce?

    • Tom Fitzmorris Author on February 19, 2014

      In the salad bowl.

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris

  2. Frank on February 18, 2014

    This was left out of your ingredient list “leaves of a head of romaine and a head of Boston or Bibb or butter lettuce”/

    • Tom Fitzmorris Author on February 19, 2014

      The recipe is for the dressing. You can use whatever kind of greens you like.

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris

  3. Jay on February 19, 2014

    Bob and Jake’s was the premier steakhouse in Baton Rouge for many years, but there was a falling out in the early 70s (or Bob died…which was it?) and Jake opened Jake Staples’ The Place. It never reached the heights of Bob and Jake’s. The original Sensation Salad didn’t have bleu cheese, and used only iceberg lettuce. Regardless, now I want to make some to go with tonight’s dinner.

  4. Richard Hanley on February 23, 2014

    This salad dressing was soo good, I literally quit my day job and make it for a living. Now, I’m trying to tell the world about it.

    It’s currently sold in over 90 stores throughout Louisiana and we’ve shipped it all over the country via .

    Cheers, To Sensation 🙂

  5. fred on May 5, 2014

    what brand olive oil?

  6. Lynn on February 22, 2015

    You are right. The original recipe did not have blue cheese. Used to make it 55 plus years ago after having it at Bob and Jakes

  7. Bill Staples on March 18, 2015

    Uncle Bob & Uncle Jake were both great cooks. Uncle Jake also went to New York to make a presentation at a Chef’s convention (or gathering) on the preparation of his delicious cheese cake and the salad that was served at the restaurant

  8. Christopher on April 12, 2017

    This was a poorly explained recipe. I’m sorry, but it’s true. Maybe professional Chef’s or culinary experts would understand the way everything was explained, but for us novices trying to learn…..not so much.

    Okay, here goes, Tear up a head of lettuce of whatever kind you can handle. Shred some easy-to-find cheddar cheese in that amount that looks right to you. Then pour on a bottled salad dressing of your choice and toss with two serving forks (I hope you have two of those) and until the lettuce is lightly coated. (If you know what I mean by “coated.”)

    If that doesn’t work for you, ask a nine-year-old to do it for you.–Tom.

  9. Linda Sue on August 19, 2017

    Always had this salad when I ate at Ralph & Kacoo. Bough one of their cookbooks thinking the recipe would be it – it wasn’t have been looking for years for it. Thank You. Making it tonight to serve with my seafood gumbo.