On the eve of my departure for NYC to begin culinary school at the Natural Gourmet Institute, my brother bestowed me with a Chia Pet as a going away gift—a hippo Chia Pet, to be exact. Why a hippo? Hippo is my nickname (it’s a long story), and I’ve been collecting hippo figurines for many years as a “natural” extension of this moniker. I grew out Chia Hippo’s green leafy “fur” once, just to see it in action. Then he got moldy (I’m a better plant eater than a plant grower), so I gave him a bath and retired him to a display shelf. But what to do with the leftover chia seeds? How 'bout a mayo-free riff on Green Goddess Dressing with chia seeds! Here's the recipe I concocted based on McCrady's Green Goddess Dressing as seen in the September 2010 issue of Bon Appetite Magazine. —TFPlates
raw sunflower seeds
cloves roasted garlic
zest from one lemon
oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained but not rinsed
Step 1: In a bowl, submerge the sunflower seeds in cold water. Let soak at room temperature at least 8 hours. Then drain and rinse thoroughly using a colander.
Step 2: In a blender, add all of the ingredients except the chia seeds and only enough water to get things blending smoothly. Check the consistency, adding more water to thin it out if needed, but keeping in mind that this dressing should be on the thick-and-creamy side.
Step 3: Taste. A little dull and flat? Add a bit more salt. Not tangy/acidic enough for your taste? Add 1 TBS more lemon juice. Chill at least an hour before using. Then stir in your desired quantity of chia seeds JUST before serving, so they stay pleasantly crunchy. Put remaining dressing in an airtight container, refrigerate and use within 5 days.