Growing up, I loved Green Goddess salad dressing. In fact, everyone in my family did. Even now, my mouth waters when I think of the tangy, herbal, creamy goodness.
This weekend I needed to make crudités for a nonviolence luncheon. I wanted to go beyond the generic crudités that have become so ubiquitous—carrot sticks, broccoli and tired-looking cauliflower with some hfcs-laden ranch dressing in the center—and come up with something that celebrates autumn and looks beautiful on the plate.
I wanted that green goddess but I did not want all the weird things that Wish-Bone puts in there. Naturally, I turned to Martha Stewart for some advice and was able to adjust her recipe slightly by using Soy-free Vegenaise instead of the cholesterol-heavy mayonaise she called for.
When the blades finished turning on my food processor, I cautiously dipped a carrot in and put it in my mouth—Success! It was superb, it was sublime, it was (dare I say) better than the bottled variety. It turned out so amazing, and was really quite simple to make.
Then came the vegetables. To start with, carrot sticks are obviously the backbone of a good crudité platter. You may remember from previous posts how obsessed I have been lately with rainbow carrots from our co-op. I cut these into segments, splitting the thicker parts in half or quarters lengthwise. Turnips are one of my favorite vegetables, so I cut them into long french fry-like shapes and blanched them for just a few minutes in boiling water before immediately plunging them in ice-water (the “stop bath” for those of you budding culinarions). Next, I broke up some brocolli into florets and blanched them ever so slightly, just till they brightened and again with the stop bath. Raw broccoli is okay, but there is a slightly bitter flavor that goes away if you just barely blanche them—seriously for a minute or two—not to mention how vibrant the color becomes. I also cut beets into big pieces and blanched them a little longer than the other vegetables—testing them with a fork. I wanted the beets to be soft to the tooth but firm enough to still be able to dip. I blanched them last so they didn’t stain everything else. The final touch was some absolutely stunning watermelon radishes cut into rings. The finished platter was like a work of art.
Everyone raved about how delicious the dip was and how beautiful the platter looked. I was glad. It seriously took me less than thirty minutes to do the whole thing.