I have been talking about it for weeks now.
Weeks? No, make that months.
I have been talking about this with everyone who sets foot in the TasteSpotting Kitchen. Tweeting about it. Facebooking it. I emailed it to my sisters. If there weren’t some sort of fire code here in our part of Los Angeles, I would have sent smoke signals into the atmosphere.
And it looks like I’m just going to keep on writing about it before actually, well, writing about…oh, ok.
Green Goddess Dressing.
I started thinking about Green Goddess dressing back when I was strategizing a “Summer Slim Down” series that was basically all salads. That idea went right out the window the minute a red velvet cake recipe appeared on my desktop, but Green Goddess stayed in my head, partly just for the name, but mostly for what it actually is.
Herbs. Tons and tons of fragrant, pungent, bitter, sweet, savory awesome awesome green herbs. (Hence, the “green” part of the name.)
Herbs are a relatively new “thing” in the TasteSpotting Kitchen, which has traditionally leaned more toward spices. Spices were familiar to use because we grew up with a lot of different “Asian” spices in our foods. Herbs were foreign, we didn’t know how to cook with them, and the few herbs that we did know, we hated (cilantro and basil).
But we had an epiphany recently when we spent some tender time with…thyme. After that, we were all about rosemary, sage, savory, and of course the herbs that are part of Green Goddess. Ours has Italian parsley (which is actually listed as one of the “World’s Healthiest Foods,” go figure), tarragon, chives and dill. You can add whatever herbs you like, everything from cilantro (but why?!) to basil to savory.
So what makes herbs healthy enough to be part of the Eating Rainbow? For one thing, they’re green, and the brainwashing of “if it’s green, it’s probably healthy,” is actually true. Granted, we don’t normally eat enough of a given herb at one time to make it a significant source of any one nutrient, but Green Goddess isn’t normal. There are so many herbs in there, and you will eat it three times a day that whatever vitamins and minerals are in those tender tiny herbaceous leaves will do some good.
Really though, we’re putting Green Goddess dressing under the Eating Rainbow for a slightly indirect reason.
Think of the most disgustingly healthy thing you’ve had to eat in the last 10 years.
If you drizzle Green Goddess dressing over it, it will be delicious.
Raw kale? Julienne it, drizzle it with Green Goddess.
Straight cold tofu? Douse it with Green Goddess.
Sardines? Throw those beeyotches between two slices of (whole grain!) bread smeared with Green Goddess.
Now you’ve gotten antioxidants, protein, and omega-3s, all from a bowl of salad dressing.
Green Goddess Dressing
When we first did research into Green Goddess dressing, which seems to have originated from the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, we were overwhelmed by the number of variations/ingredients that filled up our search results. In the end, we went with our own slightl variation on a recipe from Chez Panisse (basically leaving out sugar and dairy).
We also included the original Palace Hotel’s recipe, just in case you’re all authentic like that.
1-2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
½ ripe medium avocado
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (Chez Panisse: 3 tablespoons)
1 small shallot, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
2 oil packed anchovies (Chez Panisse: 1 anchovy)
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (Chez Panisse: 1 teaspoon lemon, ½ teaspoon lime)
1 tablespoon honey (Chez Panisse: ¼ teaspoon sugar)
¾ cup olive oil
about ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper to taste
(Chez Panisse adds: 2 tablespoons cilantro, 1 tablespoon basil as well as ¼ cup heavy whipping cream)
Run the garlic in the food processor until finely chopped. You will have to keep stopping to push the bits back down toward the blades. Of course you can also very very finely mince the garlic yourself to start, but then you’re just making more work.
Add the avocado, vinegar, shallots, anchovy, lemon juice and honey and pulse until fairly smooth (but not like a smoothie).
With the food processor running, drizzle oil through feed tube. Add herbs and process until combined. Transfer mixture to a bowl.
(At this point, if you were using cream, whisk in cream.)
Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. We used about ½ teaspoon salt and about 5 turns on the pepper grinder.
Cover and chill at least 3 hours (dressing will separate if not chilled).
Original Palace Hotel Green Goddess Dressing
Makes 2 cups
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1/4 cup snipped fresh chives or minced scallions
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
3 anchovy fillets, rinsed, patted dry, and minced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Stir all the ingredients together in a small bowl until well blended (or if you prefer your dressing creamier, throw it all into a food processor or blender and pulse for 30 seconds.) Taste and adjust the seasonings. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate.