Goddess of Green

by Sarah on June 28, 2011 · 13 comments

Maybe it was the influence of our fire escape herb garden.Or perhaps we can credit the giant tub of mayo I had in my possession following the recreation of Take-It-Away House Dressing (and a recurring mayonnaise craving that comes whenever I travel for reasons I cannot explain).Maybe it was the sight of it in the June 2011 issue of Cooking Light.Whatever it was, I could not get the craving for Green Goddess Dressing out of my mind. [Or stomach. Where do we really get cravings?]

And I don’t even think I’d ever eaten it before.

–Um, Sarah….how do you have a craving for something you’ve never eaten?
–I don’t know. I just don’t know.–
But like a young hero whose destiny lies before him, a path bestowed upon him by what could only be fates and a higher hand…I had to make Green Goddess Dressing. And I had to make it healthy.The best thing about Green Goddess Dressing is that there are so many variations that you can pretty much mix any herbs together in a creamy sauce—that may or may not contain avocado (or tahini if you are of the Annie’s Natural camp of dressing believers)–and have something you call Green Goddess.

I took stock of our fire escape garden…and pulled some basil and mint. Because mint and I are in a semi-serious relationship, so it needed to be invited to the party. From my research, I also learned that parsley is important. As well as tarragon.Have y’all ever had tarragon? I’m almost tempted to cheat on mint for him.
The other fresh ingredients are usually chives and lemon. Green onions were on sale, so I went with those instead of the chives. [Do as you wish.]
Another recurring theme? ANCHOVIES!!!They make Ceasar salad supreme. Puttanesca is putta-NOT-sca without ’em. And they are fun to freak out your roommates with. [But if you are a veg, then just say no to the fish that I always associate with being a universally hated pizza topping. A connotation I credit with unknown 90s sitcoms for reasons I cannot explain.]
I decided to give my beloved food processor (yes, I am a woman with many lovers) a break, and broke out the mini-chopper. This obviously means you could chop everything by hand, but good golly (Miss Molly) it’s worth shelling out $10 for at your local Wal-Mart to save yourself the time and aggravation of trying to finely dice herbs.First, I measured out parsley, basil, mint, tarragon, and green onion. [You can see in the photo below that I didn’t measure too precisely.] I squeezed in the lemon, added some red wine vinegar, and chopped away.
I added some anchovies and continued to whirl. Followed by a heap of Greek yogurt and just a little mayonnaise.*
*Just because I crave it, doesn’t mean I’m going to give over to indulgence completely. A little goes a long way. Except in pimiento cheese. Then, a lot goes a long way.

I liked it so much, I made a second batch (enough to fill up the mason jar).Green Goddess Yogurt Dressing
(Makes 2 cups or so)

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley
1/2 cup fresh tarragon leaves
1/4 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup mint leaves
3 green onions, whites and light greens, chopped
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3-4 Tbsp.)
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 anchovy fillets
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup reduced fat mayonnaise

1. Put herbs and onions into a mini-chopper or food processor. Pulse until well chopped.
2. Add vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and anchovies. Chop until a paste forms.
3. Add yogurt and mayonnaise. Process until well-incorporated.
4. Serve as a dressing or dip.
5. Call yourself a goddess of the garden. [Or at least of the garden’s goodness.]

Want a fun way to use the dressing?
Want to impress your friends with a unique side dish at your next cook out or BBQ?
Want something that looks pretty and tastes good, too?
Of COURSE you do!

Get your hands on some yellow squash and zucchini…and scrape along them with a vegetable peeler.

Keep scraping all around until they get too floppy to handle anymore. [Save these for a chopped salad or cook them into spaghetti sauce later.]
You will have an assortment of differently shaped squash “ribbons.”
You could try to worry about them all being the same width, but uniformity is for loser conformists.
And I don’t want any loser conformists reading my blog. Plop on some of your delicious dressing…
…and (really, you should use your hands…the squash ribbons are quite delicate for a lot of tossing and turning using fork prongs) toss it around to coat.
If you want to get REALLY fancy, follow my lead–this will not make you a loser conformist, but a creatively inspired protege–and add some extra fresh tarragon leaves and a little crumbled feta.Eat. Proclaim Miss Smart to be a goddess beyond all measure.
Although you’re totally free to do that anyway.