Thursday, April 21, 2011

Green Goddess-ish

After a week of barbecue, queso and other Tex Mex delights, it's was about time to get the Texas out of my system. Extraordinary though it was (with particular praise for Smitty's, in Lockhart, to Ray's Drive Inn, in San Antonio, and to Papalote and Torchy's Tacos in Austin), after five days I started to casually daydream about vegetables.

How very California of me.

In particular, I dreamed of green goddess, the brilliant, creamy, herb-flecked salad dressing. Except that I believed that green goddess had avocado in it. For some reason, I'd always attributed the lovely hue to avocado, but not so: the tarragon, basil, chives, parsley do the work.

Well. I guess I can't call the dressing I made green goddess, lovely name though it is. Instead, we'll just call it avocado-crème fraiche-anchovy-buttermilk-herb dressing, and we'll also call it delicious. I left mine a bit thick, so it would cling to the leaves of Little Gem lettuce (you could use romaine, too, but this is not really a dressing for those tender young things, not for spring mix or mesclun or whatever it's called.) When you leave it thick like that, it can also be used as a dip, and if it sits overnight in the fridge and thickens even more, it's good spread on a piece of toast.

Here goes into the food processor:

Half of a Hass avocado
A big spoonful of crème fraiche
About a 1/4 cup of buttermilk
2 anchovy filets
1 small clove garlic, chopped
salt and pepper


Add the juice of half a lemon, a few tablespoons of olive oil, a few tablespoons of Champagne vinegar (if you've got it, otherwise, more lemon juice). Gather up a good cup of soft green herbs (chervil, parsley, basil and tarragon are nice, but dill and mint aren't invited to this party) and add those to the processor. Whir the whole bit together until the herbs are finely chopped and the dressing is smooth and bright green.

If it's too thick for your liking, thin with a bit more buttermilk or even a small amount of hot water. Season to taste with additional salt, pepper or vinegar.

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