November 24, 2012

Crisp Salad with Green Goddess Dressing


Like other well known and popular salad dressings such as Caesar and Ranch, Green Goddess dressing was a hit from its inception. The most well known lore of its origin was that it was created in 1923 by the chef at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in honor of the British actor George Arliss, a guest in the hotel, and his hit play called The Green Goddess. The Green Goddess play was made into a silent movie in the 1920's, and in 1930 it was remade into one of the first "talkie" movies.

Green Goddess salad dressing maintained extreme popularity from the 1920's through the 1980's, and was at its peak of popularity during the 1970's. The dressing that is traditionally made with mayonnaise, sour cream, chervil, tarragon,
chives, anchovies, and lemon juice was based on a French sauce made by a chef for Louis XIII called Sauce Au Vert that was served with green eel.

I have given this classic a healthful makeover with no flavor spared. It is loaded with antioxidant and nutrient rich fresh soft herbs, and made creamy with avocado. This version of Green Goddess dressing is a salad unto itself and it is one you will want to make again and again.

Green Goddess Dressing
Makes about 2 cups
For all ingredients, please consider using those that are grown organically.
1 bunch (about 1-2 cups) Italian parsley, stems mostly removed
1 bunch (about 1 cup) watercress, large stems removed
3 tablespoons tarragon leaves
3 tablespoons chives
3 tablespoons dill
1 clove garlic
1 avocado, peeled
1 lemon zest and juice of
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon champagne or cider vinegar
  sea salt
  freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tablespoons veganaise (optional)
Put all of the herbs, garlic, avocado, zest and juice of the lemon, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade or a blender.
Process the ingredients until they are smooth. If using a food processor, the mixture will still show bits and pieces of the chops herbs.
Taste the dressing for flavor. Add lemon juice, salt, and/or pepper to taste. The dressing should be flavorful and creamy. If you feel that you want to up the flavor, stir in a tablespoon or so of veganaise. It will not need it, but it will make the dressing a bit richer in character.
Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days, but it is best used within 24 hours.
Crisp Green Salad
Serves 4-6
1-2 heads romaine lettuce
5-6 radishes, thinly sliced
4-6 Persian cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
Assemble all of the ingredients in a large bowl except for the avocado. Toss with your desired amount of dressing. Remember that you can always add more so start with only about 1/2 cup. Add dressing until all of the greens are lightly coated.
Arrange the salad on plates and add the sliced avocado, or add the avocado to the bowl and serve family style.
Serve immediately.









Categories: Dressings & Sauces, From The Garden, Salads, Vegetables

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