• Yield: Serves 6

  • Time: 30 minutes prep, 40 minutes total

Holley Pearce, my coordinator of chaos and close friend, loves food but doesn’t do much cooking. We met because she dined in one of our restaurants four nights a week. When Holley, who’s from Mississippi, started working with me, her lack of cooking skills became a running joke. One weekend, we had a little gathering at my office, and Pearce (as her friends call her) brought something she called BLT dip. She said it was just something her family had always taken to the beach. Unable to stop myself, I stood by it snacking till all that was left of the dip was a puddle of pink mayonnaise-y bliss.

This is not Holley’s version but it is inspired by her spirit and the most majestic combination of flavors out there. I like to go retro and make white-bread triangle toast to serve this on, but you could use any kind of crostini or chip.


Green Goddess (Makes 1 cup)

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 cup picked basil leaves

  • 2 tablespoons picked tarragon leaves

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 2 anchovy fillets or 1 teaspoon anchovy paste

  • 1 garlic clove, sliced

  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 3 medium tomatoes, small-diced

  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 1/2 head heart of Romaine

  • 10 turns of the pepper mill or 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 pound smoked bacon, cooked till crisp, then crumbled

  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions, green part only.

Deep Run Roots Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard


Make the dressing: Combine everything in the blender and blend until completely smooth and green. Refrigerate till you’re ready to use.

Make and assemble the dip: Toss the tomatoes together with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the sugar. Set that over a colander to drain for about 30 minutes.

To prep the Romaine, cut off all but ¼ inch of the leafy portion of each piece of lettuce on either side of the stem and reserve that for another use. Chop the Romaine stems into 1/3-inch pieces. You should have about 1 cup Romaine stems.

Set aside about 2 tablespoons sliced scallions and 1/4 cup Romaine stems for garnish. Then in a medium bowl, stir the tomatoes, black pepper, remaining salt, Romaine, and scallions together with the Green Goddess.

To serve, spoon the tomato mixture into a serving bowl. Top with the reserved Romaine stems followed by the bacon. Garnish with the scallions. Serve at room temperature.

From Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard. Copyright 2016. Reprinted with permission from Little, Brown and Company.