May 11th, 2010

Green Goddess in the Wake

composed goddess

In the wake of The Flood, damage to area farms has varied widely. Our friends at Turnbull Creek and Drury Family Farms report that they were relatively unscathed; “Can’t complain about a thing,” says John.

Once the turbulent waters of Leiper’s Creek receded, Allie and Matthew of Arugula’s Star were surprised to find more clinging on in the fields than expected, a testament to the strength of sugar snap tendrils. Their chickens were safe “on the bald,” and a higher-ground patch of luscious strawberries remained intact, flourishing, a sweet gift in light of other devastation.

The Hershbergers, an Amish family who practice organic, bio-dynamic farming, lost every possession, a tragic wipe-out of home and furnishings, greenhouse, and horses.

A visit to Wedgewood Urban Gardens found a large pecan tree downed, crushing some newly emerged rows of veggies, along with some general plant thrashing and wash-out. But amid the beaten down and churned up earth, much was thriving.

Look at what I gathered, gorgeous variations of purples and greens : mixed baby lettuces and arugula, icicle and red radishes, sweet scallions, a few stray spears of asparagus from the battered thicket. And from the stands of lush herbs: flowering chives, thyme, featherlike sprigs of tarragon, and clumps of curly parsley.

I carried them out of the garden, bundled in my arms like a wedding bouquet.

salad makings from the garden

The tender lettuces and profusion of herbs brought to mind Green Goddess dressing–a little retro, I know. Not the bottled goop made by Seven Seas, but the real deal, the true Goddess, replete with garden herbs, fresh and slightly pungent, creamy-thick.

You’ll find recipes for this dressing that use sour cream, also anchovies.
I live with a vegetarian, and so must sidestep the little fish. I have also found that the sour cream can muffle the bright herbal flavors.

I like to make a green goddess-like aioli, chockful of chives, tarragon, and parsley. A little acid support comes from lemon and white balsamic vinegar, and thickening power from egg. The olive oil lets the goddess shine.

chopped herbs for the goddess

I like to coarsely chop the herbs together first.

goddess aioli

The herbs quickly emulsify into this creamy-green aioli. The asparagus in the skillet below are grilled in a little olive oil and fresh thyme.

skillet grilled asparagus

And, you’ll find that this aioli is a rather versatile goddess: a smashing dip for sugar snap peas,
a lively spread on a roast chicken sandwich, and divine, as blobbed onto the composed salad here, using all those good elements that I gathered in the wake.

dynamic goddess

3 sprigs of fresh Tarragon
1 bundle fresh Chives
1 bunch fresh Parsley
2 T. fresh Lemon Juice
1 T. White Balsamic (or white wine) Vinegar
1 T. Lemon Zest
1 t. Salt
1 Egg
1 cup Olive Oil

Strip the leaves off the sprigs of tarragon and pinch off clusters of parsley. Coarsely chop together with the chives. Place all the herbs into a food processor fitted with the swivel blade. Add lemon juice and zest, vinegar, and salt. Pulse together gently for 15 seconds. Add egg. Mix, and drizzle in olive oil while machine is running. The aioli will become a creamy green, almost as thick as mayonnaise. Taste for salt. Refrigerate.

This will keep, covered and refrigerated, for 3-5 days.

bottom slice

Post Script
Many thanks to all who have expressed interest and concern about the plight of many—farmers and urban dwellers alike—who suffered extreme losses. It’s been surreal. It will take a long time (and, a whole lotta cash) for our city to recover from the widespread destruction. It has been gratifying to see all who have been volunteering en masse to clean up, make food, offer shelter.

Posted in Recipes, Salads

12 Responses to “Green Goddess in the Wake”
  1. Tracy Says:

    This is beautiful. Made my day to see it. :)

  2. Denise | Chez Danisse Says:

    Such a beautiful bundle you were able to save!

  3. FOODESSA Says:

    Hello Nancy…I feel envy while your community is going through difficult times. Envy, due to the fact that we don’t have the joy of your great fresh produce at this time of year. Well, you win some…and lose some, I guess. Right now, I’ll send you good vibes so that things get back to normal as soon as possible.
    BTW…thanks for stopping by and giving me such nice words on my cake. It was truly a pleasure making this for my Mommy.
    Your recipe on dressings for greens…very appetizing indeed ;o)
    Flavourful wishes, Claudia

  4. Maggie Says:

    Nance, you are true inspiration! Beautiful and so simple!!

  5., Teresa Blackburn Says:

    Love that spring asparagus….T

  6. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best Says:

    I’m glad to hear that your neighbors and your family weren’t as impacted from the floods as others. That is a very beautiful harvest.

  7. Fluffy Says:

    i always loved the goddess!
    the salad is so beautiful and simple

  8. my little expat kitchen Says:

    I’ve never heard of the green Goddess Aioli before. Love the sound of it though. Sounds so majestic. I have to try it, I love these kinds of dressings.

  9. Nancy Says:

    Such a gorgeous bounty of spring vegetables! I’ve been curious about Green Goddess but haven’t made it – will have to try your recipe. Best wishes for the recovery effort and crops this year.

  10. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Thanks to all, and Magda, welcome to the blog—I look forward to reading about your adventures in Den Haag. I lived in the Netherlands a long time ago…

  11. Sook Says:

    Oh what a lovely recipe! Looks healthy which I love!

  12. Good Food Matters » Blog Archive » Asparagus Times Two Says:

    [...] for other wonderful asparagus preparations? Here are a few to check out from springs gone by: Green Goddess Salad, luscious springtime Risotto, and Asparagus-Dill Potato [...]

Comment on This Post: