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Super-green goddess dressing at lynnecurry.com.

Super-Green Goddess for Spectacular Summer Salads

There are three perennials I always have in my herb garden: parsley, chives and tarragon. And I often wonder why they don’t get more love.

One of my cooks once told me that I loved Italian parsley more than any chef he had ever worked with. And chives just have that perfect mellow onion flavor that’s so mild, cooking makes it vanish.

Then there’s French tarragon is one of the most unique-tasting herbs with a tingly quality like menthol. {Some people are turned off by tarragon, maybe because of the hints of anise, but I also suspect that they’ve only had dried tarragon not fresh, which is more assertive.}

These are three of the four herbs in the classic French combination called fines herbes {the last is frilly chervil}. And of course, they are the essential elements in a classic green goddess dressing.

Green Goddess Dressing Ingredients

Other than herbs, green goddess dressing typically contains mayonnaise and sour cream. But I find them too heavy in combination. Instead, yogurt is my go-to with just enough mayonnaise for richness. And to make it vegetarian, I just skipped the anchovy altogether.

Super-green goddess dressing at lynnecurry.com.

My green goddess dressing also includes an extra ingredient that’s the super-green part. The fresh spinach is so tender and perfect right now, and it makes this green goddess super green.

Creamy and vibrant, green goddess dressing is ideal for Butter lettuce {pictured}, Bibb, Iceberg {locally grown Iceberg is a revelation} and other crisp lettuce varieties. Asian greens mixes are also great, but this dressing {like others that are mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt-based} tends to drown the tender loose-leaf lettuces.

Washing a Whole Lettuce for a Wedge Salad

Early summer is the perfect moment for making a green goddess dressing to pour over the freshest lettuce. I was excited to find Little Gem, a tiny variety, at the farmers’ market, which reminded me about wedge salads–simple but something different.

So how do you get a whole head of lettuce washed and ready for a wedge?

Cut off the stem and slice the head in half. Make two cuts in a V-shape to cut out the core. Now, fill up your salad spinner {with the basket removed} with cool {not cold} water.

Working with one head at a time, plunge it into the water and use your hands to work out any soil around the core area between the leaves while keeping them intact. Lift it from the water and repeat with the other half.

Super-green goddess dressing at lynnecurry.com.

Remove the outer leaves and save for another salad. Gently spin each half dry, then cut into quarters and assemble your salad.

Green Goddess For BBQs & Picnics

You’ll want to make a batch of this super-green goddess dressing for all of your summertime snacking, picnics and barbecues.

Drizzle it over a platter of mixed grilled asparagus, carrots or cauliflower steaks. Or dip roasted sweet potatoes wedges into it for a hearty appetizer.

It’s a vibrant dip for platters of crudites that include those studding French radishes, spring carrots and sugar snap peas. {People rave about butter with radishes, but tarragon is a marriage made in heaven.}

For picnic fare, turn some poached chicken into a delectable chicken salad. Or use this green goddess dressing instead of mayonnaise to mix up your potato salad repertoire.

We’ve all got a nice, long summer ahead, so let’s all eat well.

What’s your favorite edible sign of summer? Let me know what you’re making in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.

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Super-Green Goddess Wedge Salad

This is a salad to celebrate early summer when the fresh herbs and lettuces are lush. This green goddess is loaded with herbs plus spinach to make it super-green, a version I've made vegetarian. Serve it over crisp lettuce wedges, like Butter lettuce or Little Gem romaine. You can embellish this as you'd like with cherry tomatoes, bacon crumbles, croutons...

Use leftover for a dip for crudites and other picnic salads. It will last in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Makes 2 cups.

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword green goddess dressing
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Lynne Curry

Ingredients

For the green goddess dressing:

  • 1 bunch parsley leaves (about 2 cups lightly packed)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, stemmed if necessary
  • 1 bunch chives, rough chopped (about 1 cup lightly packed)
  • 1 bunch tarragon leaves (about 3/4 cup lightly packed)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, champagne vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup avocado or other vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt any type
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise homemade or storebought, egg or plant-based
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus additional for serving

For the wedge salad:

  • 1 head butter lettuce, cut in half and cored and quartered or other crisp variety
  • 3 radishes, shaved
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Combine the parsley, spinach, chives, garlic tarragon, anchovies (if using), lemon juice and salt in a food processor or blender.  With the machine running, add the oil in a steam to make a coarse puree. Add the yogurt and mayonnaise and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. 

  2. Season with the pepper and blend again. Taste for seasoning and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes to marry the flavors.

  3. Arrange each lettuce quarter onto four dinner plates with the cut side up. Dollop with the dressing, letting it puddle onto the place. Shower with additional ground pepper and arrange the radish and onion slices on top of and around the wedge.

  4. Store additional green goddess dressing in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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