The famous ‘green goddess dressing’ (hitherto GGD) is a nice reminder of the need for something super-easy and super-tasty stashed away in the fridge, ready to be retrieved to accompany breakfast, lunch or dinner. This babe is a no-brainer and yet produces extraordinary pleasure. Stick it in the coldest part of the refrigerator and you have a gorgeous green, creamy friend for at least 7 days.
It is perfect slathered on slow roasted lamb, on poached chicken or a fresh piece of fish. I dollop it on my brown rice and leftover veges for breakfast (delish!). My husband is in automatic-slathering-mode when said goddess is around. And when drizzled on crispy green leaves, as it was originally intended, it pumps up a salad and elevates it to another dimension.
According to ‘the’ quickie source of internet knowledge, Wikipedia, we have come to accept that GGD originated in 1923 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. It can about when the head chef, Philip Roemer devised this dressing as a tribute for the actor George Arliss and his play of the same green name. It also seems to be a variation of the famous French ‘sauce verge’ (green sauce) which was concocted by a chef of Louis XIII. I double checked all of these aforementioned propositions in my trusty copy of La Gastronomique….ditto!
Now don’t let the weight of history overwhelm. Since the one glorious aspect of GGD is not to overthink. Whack the ingredients in your (stick) blender, whizz and taste. If you’re feelin’ in the ‘green zone’, add some spinach or kale to give it a greener boost. Slightly wilting basil in vege compartment? Well, whack the bugger in. How bad can that be for you? Another issue to bear in mind is that the GGD ideal has metamorphosed in multitudes of ways. So just find the core and then vary more-or-less accordingly and freely….
15 basil leaves
5 sprigs continental parsley
5-6 sprigs of coriander leaves
1-2 medium spring onions
2 heaped tablespoons soy mayonnaise (or regular!)
3 heaped tablespoons Greek yogurt (omit this is going dairy free and add more soy mayo)
Juice of a lemon
1-2 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup)
3-tablespoons olive oil
good pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper
Put everything in a powerful blender or stick blender and whizz away!
Champagne will be had with that!!!
My daughter and her friends are adventurous little diners. Yet, hands down the most requested dish for early dinner is ‘smashed up potatoes with sausages’. So dang easy to please those gorgeous lil’ things….
The potato barely made it into the carbohydrate repertoire of our Chinese household during the mid1970s-early 80s. Even though ours was a liberal, food adventurous one .e.g., ham Hawaii in the form of a round, pan fried, processed 1 inch thick piece of ham mirroring a pan fried, round slice of pineapple pried out of a ‘Golden Circle’ can (yum!), rice remained the core staple.
To a historical population of poor peasants who slaved away for one Emperor after another, the Chinese are of the view that if ones’ family can have as much white, denuded rice as desired, then, both the gods and our ancestors are treating us well. It is therefore unadvised to bark at them by not eating the stuff - strange correlation here, I know! You see, its all about fate, parental struggles and rice, in that order. Fate backgrounds the parents’ struggles to put rice on the plates of their snotty kids. ’Time to eat’ in the Chinese language means to ‘eat rice’! Cultural mythologies, historical outcomes, practical life and linguistic inertia all merged and elevated to the level of existential poetry….
The ultimate joy for me as a kid was being served mashed potatoes by my friends’ folks on play dates. Oh my, the gods and ancestors looked after me! The other joy, being an outdoorsy barefooted, (seriously) sunbaked Aussie, was walking to the fish ’n chip shop with my friends to get crispy potato chips wrapped in wads of newspaper (with chicken salt please!). I always begged my friends to let me hold the black ink wad. It was like being handed that mysterious parcel in a pass-the-parcel birthday party game! I henceforth developed a certain fastidiousness. Potatoes with enough soft mush and enough crisp in one hit. The amount of ‘surface area’ to ‘volume’ became my potato gauging yardstick…
Enter, the smashed potato. The incorrigible Jamie Oliver has a lovely version of roasted smash chats. While J.O is gentler to his chats, I am just plain aggressive. I smash the little buggers until they become a fluffy, broken up heap. Ugly little things. But dang, so good! I always scoff a few down while hovering over the baking tray, as I tend to end up with close to nothing by the time I have finished fussing around in the kitchen and hit the dining table.
10 small dutch potatoes or just washed baby potatoes
Salt - Himalayan, Maldon, Kosher…your choice
Duck fat to lightly coat - or a few lugs of olive oil is fine
Herbs - several sprigs of thyme or rosemary
1-2 garlic cloves - smashed with back of knife
Zest of half a lemon (optional)
Preheat oven to 200C
Wash and scrub potatoes and leave the skins on. Cut in half or quarters if they’re biggies, then, parboil with a large pinch of salt until you can just pierce them with a knife.
Drain and return to saucepan. Just them them rest and take a breather for a few minutes. Now put the lid on and shake vigorously to break them up.
Toss broken potatoes with duck fat (my preference), pepper and a generous helping of salt. Add some herbs (rosemary or thyme are both good) You can also add some smashed up garlic and, or, a sizeable piece of lemon rind if you like.
Spread out loosely on a baking tray lined with nonstick baking paper and, as a finale, use a potato masher or egg flip to squish the potatoes down a bit more. The squishier the tastier, so do not be a delicate soul at this point! Bake for around 35 minutes turning at the halfway cooking point.
NOTE: If more salt is needed at the end of cooking, I recommend spraying with a little oil first so that it sticks.
Too easy. Bon appetite! A bit of champagne with that would, of course, be perfect….
Several Facebook friends asked about this trusty dipper when I posted a pic of my daughter making it for her school fundraiser. It is one of the simplest and most adaptable condiments in our eating repertoire. My daughter use to screw up her button nose and declare, ‘Ew’ to every damn sauce I put on offer (including kid friendly tomato), with the exception of slimy, sugary plum sauce. No more!
This creamy baby is a dipper with less water added, and a ‘dresser’ with more water added. You can tweak the miso: almond: maple quantities depending on mood, food, or your target audience! We slather this stuff on asparagus, spinach and broccoli, dip everything in to it from veggie sticks, dumplings through to corn chips, and swirl all manner of grains and noodles in to it.
The recipe is vegan, paleo and generally, just full of good stuff. Almond provides excellent protein, miso offers the tummy the goodness of fermented produce, and maple is a nutritionally rich and delish sugar-free alternative. It will keep happily in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks, now worries.
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 tablespoon Shiro miso - white miso is totally vegan and without the fish stock base
2-3 tablespoons hot water - add more if you like it thinner like a dressing
1 tablespoon maple syrup - totally flexible here, so adjust for personal sweetness
1-2 teaspoons sesame oil - I like more rather than less, but this is your choice
Place almond butter in a bowl, add hot water gradually and stir to loosen and make a paste. Now add the miso (add a little bit at a time and do regular taste tests to suit your own palette).
Now add the maple (again, as much or as little as you want). Slosh in some sesame oil to finish.
That’s it voila. Eat it, bottle it. Yum. Champagne with that…always.