As the days get warmer and the nights get longer, what’s better than a delicious summer salad? This Green Goddess Salad is the perfect combination – crisp lettuce leaves and creamy dressing. Try this recipe from SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW by Tamar Adler.
A less classic salad can be made with the thick herbal dressing possessing the pompous name Green Goddess. Green Goddess dressing was first served at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in 1923. It was devised in honor of a play by the same name, a relic featuring the Rajah of Rukh, his valet, the good Doctor Basil Traherne—a fittingly herbal name—and a wife named Lucilla in tailor-made tweeds, and set in “a remote region at the back of the Himalayas.”
GREEN GODDESS SALAD
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1⁄8 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard
3⁄4 to 1 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh parsley, tarragon, and chives
3 anchovy fillets, chopped
1⁄2 small clove garlic, pounded to a paste with a tiny bit of salt
1 1⁄2 to 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 head Italian chicory, or a few heads Belgian endive, or, if you do not like bitter lettuces, a head of iceberg lettuce
Combine the egg yolk and mustard in a bowl. Very slowly whisk in the olive oil, drop by drop, until an emulsion has formed. Add drops of room-temperature water once the mixture becomes thick. When you have a good-tasting, slightly loose mayonnaise, add the herbs. Mash the anchovies with the garlic paste and add them to the mayonnaise. Whisk in the vinegar, tasting it on a leaf and adjusting the vinegar and salt. Toss the chicory with the dressing, drizzling it to the side of the bowl, adding only as much as you like.
A friend adds avocado and calls the solution “debased.” I reject the deprecation—half an avocado contributes both verdancy and a richness that might even be called divine, and surely only serves to enhance the affair. If I were following his habit, I would include avocado with the mustard and egg and then proceed. In either form, Green Goddess is tantalizing spooned over a wedge of the hardwearing crisp head known as iceberg—a name I like because, in the unintentional poetry of a yogic woman in my quiet town, it “sounds like it means.”
This perhaps depraved practice can be refined if you drizzle the sturdy leaves first with lemon juice, then lightly salt them, and roll each wedge quickly with a little dressing in a mixing bowl, before pouring an agreeable dollop over each on its plate. This trick makes things seem more combined.
If you like iceberg but dislike buying lettuce from large companies, it is worth noting that a number of small farms, not named Foxy, have begun to grow the variety as smaller, less compact and industrial heads.
Pair this delicious salad with the perfect roast chicken.