A salad. Everyone knows how to make a salad, so why do I think you might be interested in this one? Well, first of all, because it’s good. Really good. Second, it has Green Goddess dressing on it, which, if you’ve never had it you might want to try. Third, it’s a riff on contrasts, color, texture, temperature. If you’re anything like me, you’ve eaten your fair share of salads. We’re always trying eat healthier, or justify having that chocolate cupcake. When eating a salad I seem to alternate between “this is so good” and “wait, what did I just eat?”. I promise that this is one that you’ll remember eating, and will want to eat again. I’ve had beef filet salads before. They’ve always had blue cheese in them, the beef was too done for me, and the dressings always seemed either too goopy or too vinegary. If I do say so myself, this Green Goddess dressing is an inspired choice. It has enough substance to stick to the ingredients, and enough fluidity to become part of them. It’s fresh and herby, soft and sharp all at once. I’m planning on having it again for lunch. I’m also wondering what else I can use this dressing on. There’s no doubt that I’ll run out of dressing before I run out of choices to put it on.
Green Goddess dressing has been around since the 1920’s. It comes in and out of favor every couple of decades. I’ve seen several incarnations lately, so I think it’s on a return. I think we should never let it hide away again. It’s basically a herb, mayo, lemon and anchovy mixture that you can fix and fiddle with to suit yourself. As I’ve done here. I’ve subbed non-fat yogurt for more than half the mayo, and I used the herbs I have growing on the balcony. Yes, I used the anchovy, but I used the paste in a tube. So much easier to deal with and no waste. But if the thought of anchovies completely squicks you, leave it out. This is what I used:
Green Goddess Dressing
1 small garlic clove
1/2 cup of flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup of basil
1/4 cup of dill
A few sprigs of thyme
2 tablespoons of chopped arugula
1 tablespoon of anchovy paste
1/2 cup of plain non-fat greek yogurt
1/4 cup of mayo
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
Roughly chop the herbs, put the lemon juice in the blender first and then the herbs and blend until the herbs are finely chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until it’s smooth and creamy. You might need a bit more liquid (I did) so I added another 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice and about another 1/2 tablespoon of water. You can make this ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator or just chill it while you cook the beef and compose the rest of the salad.
Yes, I’m aware that this is a very lame blender.
This is what it should look like.
There is always stuff to clean up.
The rest of the salad goes like this. Soft mixed greens and crunchy sweet iceburg lettuce. (I don’t care what anyone says, I love iceburg lettuce!) Tart, crisp radish slices and tender, sweet roasted red pepper. Creamy avocado and tangy, bright green olives. Juicy tomatoes. Arrange on a plate.
Grill your beef filet to your liking, let it rest for at least 5 minutes. Drizzle the Green Goddess dressing over your salad, slice your beef and arrange on top. Eat while your vegetables are cold and your beef is warm.
A few notes: Make sure you season your beef well before you grill it. I used only salt and pepper, but use what you like, just remember there is garlic in the dressing, so you might want to go easy on it. It’s your salad, so use the ingredients you like the best. I went for contrasting textures and flavors, but while I love green olives, I hate black ones so I would never use those. Again, no rules, use what YOU like. As for the beef, I use fillet because it’s lean and tender, and there are no gristly bits or a lot of fat to harden while it cools. It’s just my preference for a salad. Skirt steak, flank steak, sirloin or ribeye would all work wonderfully as well.