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Green Goddess Salad

August 30, 2011

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I just spent a lovely four days in Park City, Utah enjoying the clean air and the peace and quiet (outdoors, of course; indoors I have my three kids and two of their friends, so no peace and quiet in the house from noon ’til midnight.)  There are no televisions and I insist that the kids leave the phones in their bedrooms so we can hike and dine without the ping of 6 iPhones.  Heaven.

Of course, with travel comes a deviation from eating the way I like to eat.  I consumed a little too much guacamole and chips a little too late at night, and then someone tried to torture me by buying a container of Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter.  I had mentioned it was like a more healthful Nutella, not that it was actually healthful.  By the end, I missed my juicer and my garden and all I wanted to eat were salads and vegetables.  In fact, I was craving this Green Goddess Salad while I was on the plane home.

No, I didn’t name this dressing after you.  The original Green Goddess dressing was created at San Francisco’s Palace Hotel in the 1920′s, for the English actor George Arliss.  Arliss was staying at the hotel and dined there every evening before he performed in a play called “The Green Goddess.”  There are so many variations on this dressing, the base of which is usually mayonnaise, sour cream and tarragon — the only herb I don’t like.  Can we still be friends?  So considering I am using none of the above, I don’t know if I can actually call it a Green Goddess dressing.  One day last summer, I tried to clean out some little bits of herbs that were lingering and blended them into my own version of the dressing and we all loved it.  So feel free to adjust the recipe according to whatever herbs you have on hand, even if it’s tarragon.  The kids think it tastes a little like ranch dressing.  So I made more the next day and used it as a dip for raw vegetables.

Green Goddess is a creamy dressing that’s a nice break from traditional vinaigrettes, and one that works well with crisp and sturdy lettuces.  There are dozens of ways to enjoy this salad, even as a main course, since so many things work well with the dressing.  Here I used tomatoes and radishes, which are both perfectly obvious, but you can add hard boiled eggs, shrimp, poached chicken, cucumber, avocado, and/or corn.  One day I took a few beefy tomatoes from the garden, sliced them up and drizzled this over.  Whatever you do, don’t leave out the anchovy paste — it really adds a little salty something and doesn’t taste at all fishy.  Your kids and your picky spouse don’t need to know it’s in there.  In fact, they don’t need to know anything other than you made up your own Ranch dressing.

green goddess salad

serves 6

1 head romaine lettuce, leave washed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces

Any of the following:

Thinly sliced radishes

Chopped or sliced cucumber

Chopped tomatoes

Cubed avocado

Raw or cooked corn kernels

Quartered hard-boiled eggs

 

Dressing:

½ cup whole plain yogurt (regular or Greek)

1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

3 Tablespoons chopped chives

2 Tablespoons basil leaves

1 Tablespoon chopped dill (if you have it)

1 scallion, chopped

1-2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon anchovy paste or two anchovy fillets

½ – ¾ cup unrefined, cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil (depending on how thick or thin you like it)

¾ teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Place all dressing ingredients except oil, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor.  With the motor running, slowly pour in olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Toss lettuce in a serving bowl with enough dressing to coat lightly.  Either toss remaining salad components separately with dressing or arrange on top of lettuce and drizzle with dressing.

Notes:  the original Green Goddess dressing contains lots of tarragon.  Feel free to experiment with other different fresh green herbs such as tarragon, cilantro, chervil or mint.

For a dairy-free version, use ½ cup silken tofu in place of the yogurt and increase lemon juice to 3 Tablespoons.  I’m sure you could also substitute ½ of ripe avocado, but I haven’t tried that.

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9 Responses to “Green Goddess Salad”

  1. Traci says:

    I have made this salad dressing several times now and it is so good, I mix up the herbs depending on what I have, and it’s always good. I took your suggestion from class and used some I had leftover as a dressing for my daughter’s pasta salad for lunch. I made fuselli with veggies, chickpeas and added the dressing she loved it. I may have added feta cheese too. This is in our regular rotation now. Yummy! Thank you!

    • Pamela says:

      Thanks for writing in with your yummy idea. That’s a great lunch for school — good balance of complex carbs, protein and good fat. Love it!

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  2. Nancy says:

    My kids absolutely love this salad!!!

    It is by far their favorite (along with Pamela’s greek salad and grilled vegetable salad)! I have made this green goddess salad so many times and they never get tired of it! I like to vary the salad ingredients…our personal favorite combination includes avocado and corn with tomatoes.

    The dressing is so yummy that I also serve it as a dip for vegetables.

  3. Libby says:

    Can’t wait to try this recipe tomorrow! run out of what to have for dinner tonight, so happy to have your site with new ideas.

  4. Sandy says:

    Thank you for that recipe. I have it from the September class and I’m making it tonight! How far in advance can I make the dressing?

    • Pamela says:

      You can make it now and refrigerate it. It will separate a little, so just give it a quick stir before dressing the salad. Enjoy!

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