Weekend Gourmet

Weekend Gourmet: A goddess dressing for your goddess

CorrespondentMay 11, 2013 

Fred's Green Goddess Dressing.


Today is the day to celebrate our mothers, and I’m sure you’ve been busy with restaurant reservations, ordering flowers or planning a special meal for Mom. But have you really thought about what she has been to your life lately? Sure, she gave us life, but in her role as a mother what has set her apart from others?

It’s fairly simple: Mothers are true goddesses.

This is my daughter’s first Mother’s Day, and I have been amazed at how my little girl has charged past the rebellious days of her teens and become this teacher, caregiver and woman consumed by the love for her child. Pride doesn’t begin to express what I feel for her at this stage in her life. It’s also been interesting to watch her mother, continuing to be that goddess for her – supporting, giving and addressing our daughter’s needs. And there’s my mother: She watches and worries and still offers her motherly insight even though our roles are reversing and she now needs my sister and me to be the parent at times. Being a mother, it seems, is eternal.

I celebrate mothers today with a recipe for Green Goddess Dressing, which is classic, rich with history, vivacious and up front in flavor, and like all mothers, versatile in its abilities. Green Goddess was all the rage in the mid-1920s. It was first served at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in 1923 by chef Phillip Roamer to celebrate a popular stage play showing in town. Legend has it that the first person to enjoy a salad with Green Goddess dressing was the play’s star, George Arliss.

The dressing is based on the French Sauce Au Vert or green sauce, which was used for many things other than dressing a salad. Many restaurant chefs make regular use of the dressing, twisted this way or that, and I find that Green Goddess is one of the most useful sauces I have in my flavor arsenal. I use it for salads, of course (sprinkle some chive blooms over a salad this time of year), and also as a sauce for fish, especially salmon, or, for a change of pace, with shrimp. It’s awesome alongside a grilled steak, too. It elevates green beans and asparagus to classic heights; add some chopped hard-boiled eggs for more over-the-top spin. It is also a wonderful dip for raw veggies. Use it as a base for potato or chicken salad for a dramatic shift. Green Goddess also really shines in a crab salad.

You can cut the calories by using low-fat mayonnaise and sour cream; however, the nonfat stuff messes with the texture too much. Please don’t leave out the anchovies. You’ll never know they are there, but you will miss them if you don’t add them. But most important: You cannot shortcut this dressing with dried herbs. The flavor becomes flat and sterile, and you will have missed the “goddess” in the Green Goddess. All the fresh herbs are easily found in supermarkets.

Maybe you have today’s food festivities already figured out, but try this dressing soon before the last of spring’s beautiful greens are gone.

This goddess will make your goddess’ taste buds swirl like the heavens. Happy Mother’s Day!

For a printable copy of the recipe, click the link:

Fred’s Green Goddess Dressing

Fred’s Green Goddess Dressing 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 1/4 cup chopped green onion, just the green parts 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon 1/2 cup sour cream 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (or 3 anchovies) 1 cup mayonnaise Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. (White pepper is more pleasing to the eye.) Cayenne pepper, optional

ADD all the ingredients except the mayo, salt and pepper, and cayenne, if using, in a blender, food processor, or use a hand stick blender. Process until creamy.

FOLD in the mayonnaise, and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Stir in cayenne to taste if using.

TRANSFER to an airtight container, and chill at least an hour before serving, allowing the flavors to mingle. If too thick to pour, thin with a little milk. Keeps in the refrigerator for one week. Yield: Makes about 2 cups

SERVE WITH: Pair it with any food that would benefit from an herbaceous addition. Use as a sauce for fish, a grilled steak, over asparagus or green beans and it is to die for over the first summer tomatoes.

TO DRINK: More about what you are serving the dressing with, but for a salad, try a well-chilled North Carolina Pinot Gris or a crisp “green” white from Portugal.

Thompson: fdtfx1@earthlink.net

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