"New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin."
- Mark Twain
During the last week of June I flew to Chicago to sit shiva with my bereaved cousin Lenny, whose mother (my Auntie) recently passed away (see beautiful photo at bottom). My brother flew from Boston to meet me. We visited my beloved Uncle Jack, adored cousins Anita and Brad, and even had the chance to FaceTime with my younger cousin Emily. Have said it before, saying it again, I love my people.
One afternoon, my cousins invited us to their new home, where they indulged us with a lovely lunch of a wide variety of delicious cold salads, pretzel rolls (a favorite), onion rolls, and the best pickles. A refreshing treat, as the weather that week was an impressive 99 ºF, 100% humidity, and the weather report stated it felt like 107. (I won't argue.) The visit itself was under sad circumstances, but seeing my Chicago family again was wonderful. Only regret was the BF could not join me, as he was holding down the fort at home.
Upon returning, I craved cold salad meals. While we don't have the humidity at our northern California home, we do get some heat, and as the temperatures rose into the mid-90s I found myself craving a favorite summer dinner from Susan Spicer, owner/chef of Bayona and Mondo restaurants in New Orleans. This particular recipe isn't a restaurant staple; it's from her cookbook Crescent City Cooking, and is a meal she makes for family at home.
Everything about the salad is a winner, but the show's star is the delicious dressing. Easy to make, and it's great on everything, i.e., works as a veggie dip, or drizzled over falafels or steak. All the toppings can be served cold including the chicken and corn. I made a few substitutions and add-ons for the salad toppings, but the dressing is perfect as is. Didn't change a thing.
Adapted from: Susan Spicer with Paula Disbrowe, Crescent City Cooking: Unforgettable Recipes From Susan Spicer's New Orleans
Number of servings: 4
Directions - Roasting Poblano
NOTES: Feel free to add other ingredients like red bell peppers, celery, cotija or feta cheese, or pickled jalapenos. For a more substantial meal, serve some corn bread or jalapeno corn bread.
PS: One year ago...
Aunt Lorraine and Uncle Abe on their wedding day.
I'm Jacquie, personal chef & recipe developer in the bay area. Living life with my wildly funny boyfriend and dog Marlowe. Lover of books, bourbon, chocolate and movies.