Monday, June 21, 2021

Sensation Salad

A mixed garden salad made with romaine and iceberg lettuces, fresh parsley, Romano and bleu cheeses, lot of freshly cracked black pepper and a tangy, lemon-garlic vinaigrette.
A mixed garden salad made with romaine and iceberg lettuces, fresh parsley, Romano and bleu cheeses, lot of freshly cracked black pepper and a tangy, lemon-garlic vinaigrette.

Sensation Salad

This salad is a slight revision of the well-loved salad found in the Junior League of Baton Rouge's River Roads Recipes II cookbook.

While it became more widely known across Louisiana and her sister states from the cookbook, it actually originated as a creation of a now closed, Baton Rouge restaurant called Bob and Jake's, and soon took on a viral life of its own among other local area restaurants.

The salad dressing is a basic vinaigrette, based on oils and lemon juice with cider vinegar and garlic. The original recipe calls for "salad oil," so I honored that language in the recipe text, but... what exactly is salad oil anyway?

Salad oil just represents the term that was used back in the day for a lighter vegetable based oil, typically used for dressing salads. Most often it's as simple as basic vegetable oil, though canola, corn oil or anything along that line can be used. 

I followed the lead of one of my other cookbooks, The New Family Cookbook by America's Test Kitchen, for what they call "foolproof vinaigrette" adding a little mayonnaise and mustard to the original recipe to better assist with emulsification. 

This salad has lots of strong tang to it from the lemon, to the garlic, to the sharpness of the Romano and Bleu cheeses. I included just a bit of sugar to the dressing to help balance the tang. It also contains a very healthy dose of fresh parsley. If you love those elements, you'll love this salad. If you don't, you won't have much interest in this salad. 

I don't know if folks still make this as much as they once did, but at one point Sensation Salad had quite a cult following. The amount of fresh parsley seems to have been significantly reduced in most modern versions, and even some variations in the fresh herbs exist now. If Romano is a bit strong for you, try Parmesan. Bottom line? Adapt to your own taste.

As always, full recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, are a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll past the step-by-step pictures below. 

So many of you have said you enjoy when I share my favorite things with y'all. These are products that I own and use on a regular basis. Some favorite things used in this recipe, include:

Note: These are affiliate links to my Amazon store.

Here's how to make Sensation Salad!

Prepare day ahead to allow dressing to infuse and lettuces to chill well, but do not dress. Experiment with different fresh herbs to change up the flavor profile.

Crush garlic and rub all over the insides of salad serving bowl. Add the garlic to cruet with remaining salad dressing ingredients. Shake well and refrigerate until needed, removing from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving. 

After rinsing the lettuce, spin it well until it's very dry. You don't want any moisture to remain on the lettuces. Add to salad bowl.

Chop up the parsley.

Mix lettuces and parsley.

Add two cheeses.

 Toss, cover and store in refrigerator. Do not dress!

When ready to serve, allow dressing to come to room temperature. Shake well and pour about half of it over salad and toss. 

Grind plenty of freshly cracked black pepper all over top of salad and toss. Taste and add salt if desired.

By the way, a few simple swaps and you'll come very close to Nana's Crunchy Romaine Salad that's viral on TikTok. See notes at the bottom of recipe below for what to do.

Unable to view the printable below on your device? Tap/click here.

Posted by on January 1, 2020
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