I was a green goddess once, sort of. It was in high school, where I had a very brief solo in the school play. I cannot for the life of me remember what that play was, but my part involved me singing a little song while wearing a sea green toga and gold slippers in the latest goddess fashion.
If it weren’t for the fact that I happen to love the creamy, anchovy saltiness of green goddess salad dressing, I probably wouldn’t have even remembered this fifteen seconds of teenage fame. But now every time I whip up a batch of the herb-flecked emulsion, my mind flits over to those bright lights, briefly cringing at the memory before concentrating on the yumminess in front of me.
And this green goddess dressing is extremely good, a classic that I don’t muck with very much. I’ve just tweaked the herb varieties and quantities to my liking, combining a lot of pungent parsley with a bit of cilantro and basil. I also use buttermilk as the base, which gives the dressing a lighter texture compared to the sour cream– and mayonnaise-laden versions you often see.
Green goddess dressing tastes good on almost any kind of vegetable matter (and fish, too); here I drizzle it all over thinly sliced rounds of zucchini and chunks of velvety avocado. It’s the sort of thing I’ll make when it’s so hot out that all the greens at the farmers’ market look wilted and sad, but the zucchini are small, taut, and shining, just waiting to be lunch.
1 medium zucchini or summer squash (about 8 ounces)
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut into chunks
FOR THE GREEN GODDESS DRESSING
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 scallions, white and light green parts, sliced
1 anchovy fillet
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. MAKE THE DRESSING: Combine the dressing ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
2. Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, thinly slice the zucchini into ribbons or rounds. Combine in a bowl with the avocado.
3. Pour enough dressing over the squash and avocado to lightly coat the salad. Serve immediately. Store any remaining dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for another use.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Favorite Recipes from Melissa Clark’s Kitchen by Melissa Clark (Black Dog & Leventhal; 2018)
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