Monday, November 17, 2008

Oh my Goddess!

This has been one of those backburner things on my to make list for so long. It was having a great version at CAVA here in Portland that got me thinking about this most old school of salad dressings. According to The Gourmet Cookbook it was first concocted in 1920 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco where the chef made it in honor of actor George Arliss, who was starring in Scottish playwright William Archer's play The Green Goddess during its run in the city (note: not The City, just "the city"). I was inspired to action after reading a story with recipe in the New York Times Magazine a couple of weeks ago.

After reading their version, and looking at a couple of different interpretations from various sources including Gourmet, I cobbled together this, if I may, perfect version. It resembles, especially looking at the NYT's recipe (which they first ran in 1948), a caesar dressing. What I remember from CAVA's version, and most others I've had, is a nice lashing of tarragon. Oddly, the NYT version had none. But the Gourmet Cookbook version left out the garlic, which seemed a natural considering the other ingredients. So I took some bits from here and some pieces from there, and served it with a fabulous dinner for our friends J&K last Saturday (where the entrée was this drop-dead delicious Saltimbocca alla Romana) and it received much praise. I highly suggest you grab some romaine lettuce and get in touch with your inner Goddess!
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Green Goddess Dressing
an E.D.T. Original (with inspiration from several!)

1 cup mayonnaise
3 flat oil packed anchovy fillets, minced
1 teaspoon oil from anchovy jar or tin
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 scallion chopped
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients except salt and pepper in food processor and purée until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
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One year ago today @E.D.T: Bill Clinton dancing with a member of Flock of Seagulls!!


cookiecrumb said...

Just from reading your version, it sounds like you nailed it.
I'm wondering, now, if subbing tarragon vinegar for the white wine vinegar might do the trick, if you (er, I) don't have any fresh tarragon...
Variation. It's the spice of life.

bb said...

cookie....actually the Gourmet Cookbook called for tarragon vinegar, so of course you could use it. But for someone (er, me) who didn't have tarragon vinegar, I still like fresh if possible!

Kathleen Bauer said...

Lovely photo, too, of the finished product. Nice stylin'!

bb said...

kab- thank you. I originally posted a really boring picture, then did a do-over that worked much better!

Family First said...

Dont think i can find anchovies fillets over here. can i use tuna in oil instead?

Kathleen Bauer said...

Ah, but you do have fish sauce! I'd start with a very small amount (1/8 tsp.?) and see how that works. The tuna with oil wouldn't even come close.