No visit to Herbsaint is complete for me without two very important orders. The spaghetti with guanciale and fried poached egg is one. The other is a very simple salad of iceberg lettuce, radishes, and either blue cheese or buttermilk dressing. The former makes sense because it is the greatest marriage of chicken, pig, and pasta in the Western Hemisphere. The latter though requires more explanation.
The beauty in Herbsaint's cooking is the subtle understanding of the complex mathematical theorem of addition by subtraction. Notice in the salad, the absence of candied walnuts or segments of ginger marinated orange, no 100 year old balsamic nor micro greens. Nope. None of that. Lettuce, dressing, and radishes; nothing extraneous and all perfectly done. The dressing is tart, smooth, and creamy. The radishes punch up the lettuce with their spicy flavor and earthy crunch.
Summertime in New Orleans really means salad time. The less cooking you can do the better.
Iceberg salad with Blue Cheese Dressing and Radishes
Trim the root and stem of each radish and dice into small cubes as best you can. Salt, toss, and set aside.
For the dressing, 1/2 cup of sour cream, 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, juice of one lemon, and as many squirts of Worcestershire sauce as you like in your Bloody Mary. Mix to combine, add salt and pepper to taste. Into this mix, fold in gently a wedge of blue cheese about the size of your palm, that you have broken into small chunks. Let the dressing sit for a few minutes, while you wash and dry the iceberg.
Now, just toss the radishes, lettuce, and dressing. If you have bacon, add it. Go ahead, gild that lily, baby.