Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Green Goddess Dressing - Originally

Some years ago, I read a recipe for Green Goddess salad dressing. I remember this clearly as I must have read close to 50,000 recipes by now and honestly don't remember almost all of them. The memorable ones are memorable because they strike me as the original recipe. As I have said before at Danger Men Cooking, the last known food item, hither before never used in cuisine was the starfruit or carambola. It was first introduced into cuisine in the late 1700s. Beyond that time, all recipes are variations on the existing ingredients.

Some writers attribute Green Goddess to James Beard. Beard was the transcriber of this recipe. (as I too, am) It was first published in Beard's Delights and Prejudices and Beard says the recipe was inspired by George Arliss' play: The Green Goddess. It won "Best Play" on Broadway for the 1920-1921 season, and was one of the first "talkies". The recipe created by the Chef of the Palace Hotel, in San Francisco California to celebrate Arliss' performance while he stayed in San Francisco.

Green Goddess Dressing 

4 egg yolks (oooohhh! scary - raw egg here - you wimps are warned: DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME)
32 ozs. extra-virgin olive oil
14 anchovy fillets minced finely, made into a paste or mush
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, leaves only, minced finely
1/4 cup chives minced finely
3 tbs. tarragon, fresh, minced finely
2 tbs. dried tarragon and
1/3 cup tarragon vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper, fine ground

Here starts my "improved" recipe method of manufacture: 

Remove the eggs from the 'frig and allow them to come to room temperature.

I would use the vinegar as it would tend to stabilize the recipe and while it should be refrigerated, it should last a while, stored in the 'frig. Put the salt and pepper into the vinegar, giving it time to dissolve the salt and moisten the pepper. About 5 minutes, so separate the room temperature eggs first and then chop the herbs. Using a mortar or food processor, comminute the anchovies into a paste or mush.

Using a stick blender, emulsify the eggs and olive oil. When it attains a mayo consistency, transfer to a mixing bowl and add the vinegar. Blend the remaining ingredients by hand and bottle. As slightly over a quart of dressing will be made, give half to a friend. A very close friend.

Modern versions of this recipe use either garlic or sour cream, etc. Many call for too little of the anchovies. Homemade dressing will not be as thick and doesn't need the thinning with lemon juice. I would wipe a clove of garlic around the salad bowl, rather than add garlic as the original recipe didn't call for it.