Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Green Goddess Revisited.....

I have always been very specific about what I would eat and how I would eat it.

It was crucial that foods never touched unless they were designed to so – in order to get me to eat, best they kept their distance. My nemesis were peas and carrots. They have no botanic lineage that would bring them together, and to add insult to injury my mother only presented them to us unnaturally canned. There was not a more foul smell and texture then these two seemingly arbitrary partners. They were an unfortunate staple on our dinner table and a source, not of vitamins, but arguments that I would lose. My first real attempt at a pea was in my late teens when I was presented a fresh, raw version of the legume unpolluted by the canning process or its ever-present escort. It was a revelation – sweet, crisp everything I did not know it could be. My mother to this day denies the fact it took almost twenty years before she served me a fresh pea. She was of the canned generation -- that post World War Two population driven by security and convenience. She made sure we were well provided for by converting half of our two-car garage into a mini-mart. Never were we without back up, and then some. Typical of her hording was when she packed us all into the car and whisked us off to Walbaums, our local supermarket. She gave us each five bottles of Thousand Island Dressing and a coupon. We arrived home with twenty-five bottles of salad dressing for a grand total of five dollars. I used Green Goddess but it was not on sale. Our inventory always contained powdered milk (I have no memory of it ever being re-hydrated), every kind of soft drink, ketchup (which I hated), canned soups, mayonnaise, and of course, yucky peas and carrots -- were always available with a quick trip downstairs and an easy search through the shelves.

Chopped Spring Salad – yields 6 to 8 servings

1/2-pound bacon
1/2-pound thin asparagus – cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4-pound sugar snap peas – cut into thirds
1/2-cup fresh peas
2 small carrots – sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1/8-pond garlic scapes - chopped
1-bunch radish
3 scallions

Cook the bacon till crisp, and then roughly chop. Hold the bacon to the side.

Place the asparagus, sugar snap peas, peas, carrots and garlic scapes into a sieve. Pour boil water over the vegetables, and let the water drain through.

In a large bowl add the blanched vegetables as well the radishes and scallions. Toss all the vegetables with a cup of green goddess dressing. Sprinkle over the bacon and serve.

Green Goddess Dressing – yields approx. 3 cups
1-pound silken tofu
2-tablespoons olive oil
1-teaspoon lime zest
1/4-cup fresh limejuice
2-tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1-tablespoon fresh summer savory leaves
1/4-cup chopped chives
1-head spring garlic – roughly chopped
1/8-cup fresh chervil leaves
1-packed cup sorrel leaves – center rib removed
2-teaspoons salt
1/4-teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne

Place the tofu in a sieve sitting in a bowl, and let the tofu drain out its excessive water in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. Discard the water that the tofu has released.

Into the blender or food processor place all the ingredients, and blend until completely smooth.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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