Sunday, August 23, 2009

Going Green

Summer has somehow interfered with my posting so it's high time I get back to it. As a simple way to ease back in I offer this recipe for Green Goddess salad dressing. Salad dressing, really? Really. You will thank me. Although versions of this recipe have been around for years, I made my first batch back in June and it's been in my fridge all summer long. I saw it on an episode of The Barefoot Contessa and it looked so good I made it that same day. It's your standard mayo-sour cream based dressing whizzed up with lots of fresh basil, lemon and garlic. It tastes fresh because of the herbs (in this case, basil), it's tangy from the lemon and scallions, and the hint of garlic and anchovy really brings it together. The flavors would be too strong if not in the mayo-sour cream base. The first time I used it was on a salad of butter lettuce and perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes and I thought it was the best salad I had ever tasted.

I've adapted Ina Garten's recipe slightly to suit my taste. I cut the recipe in half as the original says it serves six but it really should say it serves 16! Even cut in half it makes a good cup and a half of dressing and it only lasts a week or so in the fridge. I use less garlic as the garlic becomes really strong as it sits. I also use less salt (and I'm a salt freak) as it didn't need all the original recipe called for. I add some parsley to the mix to up the green quotient as I usually have some parsley on hand. If you don't have any, it would be perfectly good without it. I also use full-fat mayonnaise here but have used light (NOT non-fat) sour cream and it was still great. If you must, use light mayo and light sour cream and it'll still be awfully darn good for a light version. But try the fully leaded version once and you won't go back, trust me.

Green Goddess Dressing
adapted from
The Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup coarsely chopped green onion (about 3-4)
1/2 cup basil
1/4 cup parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1/2 clove garlic, grated through a microplane
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (use less if using table salt)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup sour cream

1. Place all ingredients, except sour cream, in a blender and whiz up until fully blended.

2. Add sour cream to blender and pulse to mix in sour cream.

3. Use right away or refrigerate for up to five days, covered. It gets stronger as it sits.