This month marks my 21st year as a Baton Rouge resident.
I’ve lived here longer than anywhere else. It’s home.
One of the things I love about living here, or in the South in general, is that we connect so many memories with food.
About 17 years ago, when my now husband and I were dating, he took me to The Place restaurant on Florida Boulevard. You may remember this restaurant; it started as Bob and Jake’s on Government Street.
It was the perfect picture of Baton Rouge and its roots. I loved its charm and its elegance — graceful, yet attainable for two 20-somethings right out of college.
My first question was, “What’s this ‘Sensation Salad’ all about?”
“It’s delicious,” he said. “You’ll love it.”
He was right. I did.
I later found out that Bob and Jake’s invented the Sensation Salad, and although The Place has long since close, the salad is still popular on menus all over town.
The crisp cold greens, drizzled with lemon and garlic-infused oil-and-vinegar dressing and peppered with rich Romano cheese, is light and pairs well with many dishes.
A couple of years later, on a return trip to The Place, I was savoring my, by then usual, Sensation Salad and Chicken Dauphine. I thought nothing could top that meal. The man proved me wrong when he proposed.
While I can’t re-create that night exactly, I’ve come up with a pretty darn close version of the salad. There are a few recipes out there that claim to be the original. What follows is my own attempt. I thought the fresh eggplant and tomatoes I found this week are a nice complement as well.