Back when Green Goddess Dressing was all the rage, my mother loved it. I was at the age where I hated anything my parents said was wonderful just on general principles. And that was before I knew it included anchovies, which I also hated. Though I’m not certain I knew what they were. I would eat anything over which I could pour Thousand Island Dressing.
And then, as happens, I grew up and began to also grow a palate. Just last week, a friend who manages the stunning produce department of my favorite natural foods store asked me if I could come up with a recipe using angelica, which she’d ordered in, but wasn’t selling. Angelica. I'd only known it as a noxious, gigantic nuisance in our northern California neighborhood, or its candied stems that we used to decorate cakes in culinary school. It tasted like sweet, green cocktail straws. But when she showed it to me, I saw thin, tender-ish stems and deep green leaves. It was lovely. It tastes a bit like celery leaves, only greener, if that helps.
I was already thinking salad dressing, when along came my new friend down the street with a bounty of unwanted white onion scapes. So I decided it was time to dust off an old treasure and give it a face-lift. My mother’s recipe in The American Family Cookbook called for mayo, sour cream, tarragon vinegar, lemon juice, fresh parsley, chopped onion, anchovy paste (of course), chives, capers, garlic, salt and pepper. But I wanted a cleaner, less complicated range of flavors, so I left out the chives, increased the lemon juice and omitted the vinegar and capers, and replaced the sour cream with crème fraîche, which also lightens the consistency a bit. I love it. I absolutely love it. I’ll take this over Thousand Island any day.
The dressing also makes a great condiment for cold sandwiches or paninis.
about 1 cup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup onion (or garlic) scapes, packed
1/4 cup angelica leaves (or celery leaves), lightly packed
1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
2 to 4 teaspoons anchovy paste (my concession to the old darling, and I am not referring to my mother, please understand) – start on the low side, you can always add more
Place all ingredients except the crème fraîche or Greek yogurt and salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor or into a blender. Purée until as smooth as possible. Crème fraîche and Greek yogurt have a more tender consistency, and tend to break down if handled too aggressively.
Scrape out into a mixing bowl and stir in the crème fraîche or Greek yogurt. Season to taste with salt and pepper.