summer favorite: mexican green goddess dressing

I wrote at length a couple of years ago about my adventures with Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good cookbook. The book has remained a favorite for times when I’ve needed healthful dinner ideas, but there’s one recipe I’ve gone back to again and again just because it’s tasty: the Mexican Green Goddess Dressing. It’s pourable summer: bright, tangy, and a stunning shade of green. I love it as a dip for veggies and as a salad dressing. Oh, and it happens to be vegan.

mexican green goddess dressing and chopped salad

As with many of It’s All Good’s recipes, there’s an unique ingredient in this dip: Vegenaise, a mayonnaise-type spread made without eggs. Ordinarily, I would steer clear of any mayo-ish product that’s not Hellman’s or Duke’s, but when I was testing the cookbook, I played by Paltrow’s rules and bought a jar. The Green Goddess was so good with the Vegenaise that I’ve never tried any substitutions. I buy a jar and use it exclusively for this dressing, which I make throughout the summer. The original recipe says you can substitute sheep’s or goat’s milk yogurt (and I assume cow’s milk yogurt, too), but I’ve found that it’s come in handy to have a completely dairy-free appetizer option. I had a guest last summer who couldn’t eat dairy and she was delighted to be able to snack on something besides salsa.

mexican green goddess ingredients

The Vegenaise provides creaminess, but the addictive taste of the dressing comes from a blend of cilantro, lime, scallions, honey, jalapeño, and olive oil. It has pep and freshness to compete with summer’s veggie stars like tomatoes and bell peppers, but it’s mild enough to complement a big salad. Another perk of this recipe and a reason I make it frequently: it requires minimal effort. A bit of rough chopping and measuring and then the blender does the rest of the work. Flavorful, easy, and friendly for restricted diets…you might just say it’s all good.

mexican green goddess dip

mexican green goddess dressing
adapted from It’s All Good, by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen

Vegenaise is found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store near the tofu.

This makes about 1½ cups and will keep, well covered, in the refrigerator for a week.

ingredients

2/3 cup Vegenaise
¼ cup cilantro
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, roughly chopped
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1.5 limes)
1 jalapeño, most seeds removed and roughly chopped (leave in more seeds for more heat)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon honey

instructions

Place all ingredients in a powerful blender and blend on high until completely smooth. Cover tightly and refrigerate any leftovers.

chopped salad
adapted from It’s All Good, by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen

ingredients

2 fresh ears of corn, shucked, cooked, and kernels sliced from ears
4 or 5 cups of romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
Mexican Green Goddess Dressing
1½ cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 ripe avocado, diced
¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped

Optional: ½ cup cooked black beans (or drained and rinsed from a can); 4 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

instructions

In a large bowl, toss romaine with three tablespoons Mexican Green Goddess Dressing. Spread dressed lettuce on a platter, top with cherry tomatoes, avocado, corn, and cilantro (and other optional ingredients, if using). Drizzle with another couple of tablespoons of dressing on top.

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