Sous chef Kat, chef groupie Ian, and Chef Katy Anne
At the end of our June pop-up I was letting our diners know that I would be sending out the recipe I used for the homemade tonic we served that night. My pushy friend Laura was among the attendees and called out “Forget the tonic, I want that green goddess recipe!” or something to that effect. As she once said to me years ago while we were working together, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. So I asked Chef Katy for the green goddess recipe, and knowing that one of her next gigs might be writing a cookbook with a chef she once worked with (at Outstanding in the Field), I asked her if she’d be interested also in writing a blog post about the recipe. Here is…..
Chef Katy Anne on Green Goddess dressing, and a bit more:
There’s this little book called How To Eat that I like to read now and then, and in it, an anecdote called “Nothing Comes From Nothing:”
“Bread comes from the wheat fields, from hard work, and from the baker, the supplier, and the seller…in this slice of bread there is sunshine, there is cloud, there is the labor of the farmer, the joy of having flour, and the skill of the baker, and then — miraculously! — there is bread. The whole cosmos has come together so that this piece of bread can be in your hand.”
Pop-up dinners are a similar thing. The entire cosmos has conspired to bring the bread to the table (and the melons and the kale and the ice cream), and so many hands have brought the table to the garden, the flowers to their vases, the music, the linens, the cocktails in mason jars. It often feels miraculous when all of the elements come perfectly together — but it’s not really, save the weather — it’s due to the hard work, creativity, and diligence of people like L.R. and his team.
I first met L.R. about two months ago when I was working in the kitchen at The Kitchen. We found out quickly that his favorite restaurant when he lived in New York is a restaurant that I worked in the kitchen of too: The Spotted Pig. I’m still not exactly sure if our years overlapped there, but in any case, we had that in common: a deep love for that kind of addictive, charismatic comfort food.
It wasn’t too much later that he invited me to cook one of his pop-up dinners. I planned the menu at the farmer’s market, on a cool and rainy Wednesday night. Early July is an exciting, transitional time of year in terms of local produce: it’s the very end of the Spring harvest and the beginning of the Summer season. There were still fava beans and spring peas spilling out of green baskets; brown bins of kale & beets & baby carrots; and also a few fragrant hints of summer: peaches and cherries and heirloom tomatoes in almost every color of the rainbow. I walked around the market with rain dripping off of me, buying bounties of stone fruits, leafy vegetables, and a whole side of brisket that I carried in my purse. I settled on a menu: an heirloom tomato, melon & feta salad; a kale and peach panzanella; smoked brisket tacos with a pickled rhubarb slaw, and a peach & browned butter ice cream with homemade sugar cones.
Meanwhile, L.R. chose a rosé to pair with every course and found two gracious hosts, Helen and Doug, with a really lovely house in South Boulder. It was obvious to me that L.R., Eva, Katy, and everyone else involved are naturals at what they do. They’re accommodating, wonderful and bright human beings; they’re warmly hospitable, attentive, and creative. Throughout the day, as I braised brisket and sliced tomatoes and heirloom melons, I watched the dinner come together seamlessly: a white-clothed table between garden rows in the backyard, vases of purple and yellow wildflowers, bins of mason jars, red & white linen napkins tied together with twine. When it rained in the afternoon, they moved the furniture from the living room to build (an equally lovely) back-up space. It felt like a magic show that I was in the midst of.
And, at the end of it all, the universe conspired with us to create exactly what the pop-up promised: a really lovely, warm summer night.
Enter, Green Goddess
For one of the appetizers, I made roasted root vegetables with a version of Green Goddess dressing. Remember Green Goddess? I don’t, because I wasn’t born yet. It was originally invented in the 1920’s and was re-popularized in the 70’s as a “healthy” alternative to Ranch and French salad dressings. It was originally made with mayonnaise and sour cream, but I wanted to lighten it (and thicken it) up by using yogurt, my favorite condiment. I love the combination of root vegetables (hearty and sweet with little burnt edges) and tart yogurt, so I thought: why not add a bunch of herbs to get a crisp and grassy garden flavor? I’m excited to say that it worked.
This would be great as a dip for raw or roasted vegetables, as a dressing for potato, chicken, or egg salad, and pretty much anything else you can think of
Greek Yogurt Green Goddess
Makes 1 cup
1 cup Greek Yogurt (I like 2%,
but 0% works too)
2 anchovy filets
1 clove garlic
½ cup each: chopped dill, parsley, chives, tarragon
3 T good olive oil
Salt & lemon juice to taste
In a food processor, chop the garlic & anchovy.
Add yogurt and blend together.
Add all herbs at once and blend on high, stopping to stir if necessary, until herbs are finely chopped & emulsified into the yogurt. (Be careful not to blend for too long, or the herbs might go brown).
Add olive oil and blend just for a second until combined.
Remove from the food processor and season with salt & lemon juice to taste.
You can follow Chef Katy Anne on Instagram, @wemustbe