The Green Goddess

Green Goddess

Think of all the excellent American salads. There’s the cheesy, garlic laced Caesar, the creamy kicker that is the blue cheese wedge, the Waldorf…actually the Waldorf can be a bit like eating gravel mixed with mayonnaise, and let’s not even start looking into the ‘jello salads’…but my point is that there are some beauts out there. Which makes me wonder why we haven’t really fallen for the green goddess.

It’s a dressing, rather than a ‘whole salad’, and I can’t get enough of it. Basically, it consists of a truckload of herbs, avocado, spring onions (green things, see?), garlic, and then anchovies – those magical, concentrated-tasty transformers. Lots of recipes add mayonnaise to bind but to me, a mayo bound salad is a recipe for feeling sick afterwards, so I use yoghurt. It’s creamy, fresh, punchy as hell, and healthy. So yeah its basically witchcraft. Oh and you can use it in loads of ways. There’s the obvious, dressing a salad way, then there’s the dip way (see pic) or there’s the sauce way, by which I mean that it’s awesome with roast chicken, and also fish. Oh and then it’s brilliant in sandwiches, too. I think I’ve covered all the ways now.

Green Goddess Dressing Recipe

4 anchovy fillets or 1 tablespoon fish sauce
A large bunch of basil
Standard bunch of chives
2 spring onions
1 avocado, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons of natural (full fat) yoghurt
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or cider vinegar, or lemon juice)
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Put everything in a blender. Blend.

Taste it – dressings are about balance and that depends on the creaminess of your avocado, the acidity of your vinegar and so on. If it tastes a bit ‘flat’, add some more vinegar and/or salt and see how that makes a difference.

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  • Avatar
    Reply Alicia (foodycat) March 25, 2015 at 9:30 am

    The anchovies are the icing on the cake I think. I’ve seen a lot of recipes for this that don’t appeal, but add anchovies and I think it is genius.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen March 25, 2015 at 10:28 am

      Absolutely essential in my book.

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    Reply Sue March 25, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Sounds really great, of course, will make it almost instantly – as soon as my head stops hurting from thinking about jello salad. Over the years I’ve tried to imagine what that is about, just so weird. Has anyone ever eaten it? And is it really decorated with squirty cheese?

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen March 25, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      I remember seeing Felicity Cloake from the Guardian making some, but I think she just tweeted rather than wrote about them. Terrifying, I agree.

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    Reply Catherine March 25, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    This looks great. I grew up eating the bottled version on salad, but never tried a from scratch recipe.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen March 25, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      Yes! Weird that it isn’t a thing here. I’m so surprised because it’s just so good!

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    Reply Jen March 31, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    This is so unbelievably good, completely agree with the witchcraft comparison… I have literally made it 3 times in a week, with varying additions (spinach/cucumber/celery), totally delicious and I plan to eat this for the foreseeable future.

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      Reply Helen March 31, 2015 at 5:12 pm

      Brilliant. I am completely addicted too. Really happy you’re enjoying the recipe.

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    Reply Melanie July 31, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Don’t forget Cobb salad and Chef’s salad, southwestern salad (has jalapenos, tortilla strips, guacamole, whatever southwestern-y thing you want-fajita seasoned chicken or steak).

    You can laugh, but there are some really good congealed (gelatin, molded) salads out there 😀

    Strangely enough, with all those good salads, one of my favorites-top 3 at least-is Salad Nicoise, an utterly French salad.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen July 31, 2015 at 7:43 pm

      I love both Cobb and Chef’s! A chopped salad, too. I remain to be convinced on the gelatin salads…maybe it’s just the name putting me off? The idea of gelatin with ‘salad’ doesn’t quite er, gel (geddit?) in the mind.

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        Reply Melanie August 1, 2015 at 2:43 pm

        I think a few things may help to explain molded salads-their regions of popularity are primarily the Midwest and the South, where it gets extremely hot and humid (especially in the South) in summer. They can be made with veg or fruit, but most are made with fruit (pineapple, etc), so they are very refreshing in the heat and humidity. Also, they travel well, which was a big factor back in the heyday of church potluck suppers (the Midwest and more especially the South being the Bible Belt), before Igloo coolers and insulated dish carriers.

        At rhe holidays, they can made to look very festive (my grandmother always made one for Christmas called “ambrosia”, I’d have to look it up to recall the exact ingredients but it undoubtedly included pineapple chunks or bits, toasted coconut flakes, cherry halves, lime jello, those tiny marshmallows-pastel colored, I think-and whipped cream. The jello may have been made with 7-Up).

        Aspics were big in the Twenties and Thirties, the molded fruit and veg salads are just the trickle-down bourgeois version of this, I believe.

        They can sound pretty weird, but if have a good one-fresh, homemade, get a little creative with the flavors, don’t use too much sweet gunk-they’re actually pretty refreshing in the summer, and healthy and low-cal if you leave most of the gunk out.

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