June 9, 2009

green goddess dressing

I was planning to write about the beautiful Copper River sockeye we had this weekend. Think glistening, orange-red flesh and a thickish layer of fat running along the inside and that fresh smell that good salmon has. So good, right?

Unfortunately, I ruined it. I have this bad habit - it's called googling. I came across this blog post, describing someone buying salmon on sale, cooking it, and having an um, extremely unpleasant surprise. (Don’t click on that link unless you want to lose your lunch. DON'T.) I tried to put it out of my mind but, although Mark makes a great broiled salmon, I couldn't stop thinking about this stupid website. Objectively, the salmon was really tasty --and there were no unpleasant surprises, thank God!-- but I totally ruined the experience for myself.

[Aside about Copper River salmon. Mark/Seattleite/salmon guy explains Copper River salmon thusly: “The Copper River is cold and icy. The salmon have a thick layer of fat to fight their way through the river. Fat is good. Fatty salmon: good.” He also thinks it's kind of overpriced so don't feel like you need to pay $38/lb for good salmon. I picked up CR sockeye for less than half that at Central Market.]

Given all that, I thought I’d talk about what I made to eat with the salmon: green goddess dressing. I made this for the first time years ago and kept it in my mental recipe box because I love the light green color, the bright flavors of all the herbs, and the smooth texture. Although green goddess is traditionally used as a salad dressing, I think it goes particularly well with fish -- assuming you aren’t consumed with terror while eating your fish, that is! Also, I like it on on a crisp lettuce wedge, romaine salad, or as a dip for crudités.

Green Goddess Dressing
from Food & Wine

Notes: If I'm making this for fish, I like to keep the dressing on the thick side, so I add slightly less of the vinegar mixture. Also, don't be shy with seasoning: because the avocado is so rich, you really need a generous pinch of salt to bring out the flavors. One interesting variation is to omit the salt and add a chopped anchovy to the mix, which adds a salty, brine-y touch that I really like. Finally, the recipe says the egg yolk is optional. I always add the yolk, so I don't know if it'd be as good without it. However I definitely want to hear about it if someone makes it without the egg yolk.

1 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature (optional)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 ripe avocado, mashed
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1 tablespoon chopped chives
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1. In a small bowl, combine the shallot with the garlic, vinegar, and lemon and lime juices. Let stand for 5 minutes.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the yolk, gradually adding half of the olive oil in a thin drizzle. Continue whisking until the olive oil is incorporated.
3. To the olive oil mixture, add 1 tablespoon of liquid from the shallot mixture, and then whisk in the remaining olive oil. You want to whisk constantly to form an emulsion. Add the avocado and mash it with a fork. Stir in the remaining shallot mixture and all the herbs.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste.


The Simple Gourmand said...

This looks amazing! I can't wait to try it with the salmon we just bought...don't worry, I didn't read about the "unpleasant surprise"!

robin said...


#2: That dressing sounds really good for fish! I wonder if that's similar to what you can by at whole foods, also called goddess dressing, although it's not green (probably because it uses cream instead of avocado).

#3: Love your herb garden! I want one, too, but I kill plants and also we don't have anywhere to put it :(

Kim said...

SG - Enjoy! I think it goes great with salmon. I also checked out your blog and thought the pesto baked salmon sounded excellent :)

JG - I know. Let's never speak of it again. Also: 1) I bet you're right that the goddess dressing at WF is a riff on green goddess. Traditionally it is mayo (or cream) based, but I love avocados + a little grossed out by mayo, so this works for me. 2) What about putting herbs on a windowsill??

robin said...

We actually don't have a windowsill. :( But we do have a back patio, some of our neighbors have little herb gardens. It's cute but we are moving in a year so I wouldn't want to get out big pots like theirs and it doesn't get so sunny back there.

Lauren said...

Love your herb garden! I would totally plant strawberries if someone built me a box. :)

Kim said...

JG - Hmm, yeah, if you are leaving in a year and don't get a lot of sun anyway, maybe it's not worth it. The pots can be expensive. Laska said you guys are planning to move to NY after you finish your program? That's so exciting!

Lauren - I mentioned one day that I thought it would be cool to have a garden box -- and I came home from work a few days later to find Mark nailing the boards together. I think it's cedar and he might have treated the wood with some kind of oil to protect it. I really like it.

Unknown said...

i love the avocado for mayo substitute! i am always turned off by mayo, too (obviously, food twin ;)

mark, beautiful garden box. i love cedar.