Saturday, August 20, 2011

Green Goddess Dressing

I have become obsessed with this dressing.

I was skeptical of the Green Goddess when I found the recipe, but was swayed by the gorgeous picture in the LA Times a few weeks ago, all bright and fresh, little bits of green herb suspended in a voluptuous jar.  I mean, I liked the idea of the Green Goddess, all earthy and herby and sounding like Berkeley and patchouli (although I hate patchouli).  But  I'm not really a heavy-dressing person, and was worried about the weight of the mayonnaise.  Really, anything with mayonnaise kinda worries me, because while I like it and use it, too much of it to me is... gross.  Frankly, the first time I made it it was visually beautiful, but I was so concerned about having 2 jars of dressing I wouldn't like, that I scooped out a few tablespoons into a tupperware container and gave the two jars away.

When I did finally try those few tablespoons, I was sorry that I now had to make another batch all over again.  Thinned with a little milk and used lightly as I like to do, it gently coats salad greens and gives each bite a light flavor, not at all heavy like I had anticipated.  Its also a great way to use up all that extra basil in your garden.

Since I only had the few tablespoons the first time, I was forced (oh, forced!) to make it a second time.  Only now, I realized I had no spinach and no chives.  I substituted arugula for the spinach and two chopped green onions for the chives, and I think the dressing is even better with the arugula.  The flavor is more pronounced, making the spinach in the original seem bland.  I cut the recipe in half, since the original recipe made more than 3 cups; you can always double it again if you need, but the dressing will last approximately 1 week in the refrigerator.

Green Goddess Dressing
adapted from Dish Restaurant
Makes 1 1/2 cups dressing

1/4 cup coarsley chopped fresh Italian parsley (1/4 bunch)
1/2 cup chopped basil (1/2 oz)
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives (1/2 oz)  or green onions
1/4 lb fresh spinach leaves, or arugula
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, more to taste
1 1/2 cups light mayonnaise
1 generous teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt, more to taste
1/2 tsp white pepper, more to taste
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice, more to taste (do not substitute Meyer lemon here)

In a blender, pulse together the parsley, basil, chives and spinach, along with the cider vinegar.  Remove the mixture to a large bowl and whisk in the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.  It will seem really mayonnaise-y, but trust me - add a little more lemon juice and thin with a little milk to desired consistency if it seems too thick.  The dressing will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week.