Do you believe in fate? Boy I do! And during this past week, I’ve felt fate’s guiding hand over and over again. First, while unloading the groceries, we dropped a carton of 18 eggs on the floor. Well, I’m not the kind of guy who just throws away broken eggs – not when they are nicely contained within that tight, compact carton – sure, 8 eggs were broken, but I managed to ease every one out neatly. And only two yolks were broken, so those were saved for scrambled eggs in the morning. The other 6, I was able to separate as I eased them out – so I wound up with 6 whites, which I used for this cake, and 6 yolks, with which I later decided to make fresh mayonnaise.
Do you know how much mayo you can make with 6 egg yolks? 6 cups – that’s a quart and a half – that’s a lot of mayonnaise.
And I’m very sure that fate was guiding all the time, because as I pondered over what I’d use all that mayonnaise for, fate led me to think about my garden bounty. For sure – I had a garden full of all kinds of things to make salad with, but what about making a mayo based dressing that used some of those same fresh veggies? And then fate gave me the answer – Green Goddess Dressing. Wow, with all that garden freshness, that should be fantastic.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I couldn’t remember ever making a fresh Green Goddess Dressing before. I think the only times I’ve had it, it was out of a bottle – or maybe in a restaurant, and they probably got their’s out of a big jar. Nope, I don’t think I’ve ever had the stuff made with all fresh herbs and veggies out of the garden – this is what I love, a new taste experience.
So I began my search for a recipe for Green Goddess – one that could make good use of lots of garden greenery. I noticed right away that the recipes I was seeing for Green Goddess all used a dairy product along with the mayo in their construction – we both like yogurt a lot, and we appreciate its toned down calorie count in contrast to sour cream – although I love sour cream as well – but we decided we go with a recipe that used yogurt for this Green Goddess. And we finally settled on the one below – only changes we made to it were in the sub of yogurt for creme fraiche, and the choice of greens which we used, and that apparently is always the case with Green Goddess – she is so flexible, adaptable, and accomodating, unlike most women I know, who tend to be less so!
A quick walk-around check of the garden revealed that I had the following green stuff I could use: Green Onions (both red and white); parsley; tarragon; basil; and chives. I resisted the urge to add garlic, which was a good decision, because I’ve later learned that if you use garlic in salad dressings which are then refrigerated for a week or more, the garlic tends to overpower the dressing’s subtle nature – so be careful with garlic.
The original recipe -as you can see- calls for only a few greens, but you may add more as your heart desires – or as you have available. One that I had, but which was not in the original recipe, was tarragon – and it added a subtle “licoricey” edge to the dressing which I thought was wonderful. I have tried growing tarragon (the French kind is the real one!), but my first few attempts came to naught, because French tarragon is rather tender, and really doesn’t like our moderately cold and wet winters – I learned I had to either remove it from its outdoor home, and pot it for the winter, or to heavily mulch it, and cover it with an upsidedown pot – either works now, and frankly, I do both with my two plants. Crazy expensive in the grocery, and a little touchy to grow, but if you get some going, you’re going to love it!
Green Goddess Yogurt Dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup yogurt
1/4 cup chopped green onions (bottoms and tops)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
1 tablespoon anchovy paste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice (plus zest would be great!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
(optional addition – 1 Tbs of honey)
Combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, green onion, chives, parsley (and/or other herbs and greens as you please), anchovy paste, lemon juice, salt and pepper in the container of a food processor or blender, or use immersion blender. Blend until you have a thick, rich, creamy delicious dressing.
You may use any combination of fresh green garden ingredients – today I’m using basil, tarragon, scallions, parsley and chives. But be careful about adding garlic, if you will be storing it for awhile in the fridge, the garlic tends to get bitter and strong – however, if you are only making enough for one meal, adding a little garlic will give the dressing a kick.
One last comment – the originator of this recipe used creame fraiche – by my sub of yogurt, it may -to some tastes- benefit from an addition of sweetness to bring it into balance. In that case, you may want to add a touch of honey.