For much of my life, summers have been all about New England. As a girl, I spent many memorable years going to camp near Camden, Maine, and camp was followed by family vacation on Squam Lake in New Hampshire.
My sons veered only slightly off my path, attending a boys camp along the coast of Maine, in beautiful Wiscasset. My older son is just finishing his ninth year there, this time as a counselor to nine energetic 11-year-olds. As you might imagine, my husband and I have made countless camp drop-offs and pick-ups over the years. To break up the long drive from Pennsylvania to Maine and back, we’ve turned many a road trip into a mini vacation, seeking out interesting spots along the way.
We’ve covered a lot of territory, yet somehow, the only New England state I never visited was Vermont…until two weeks ago. My friends at Stonyfield graciously invited me to join a group of bloggers from all around the country for their second annual farm tour. Over the weekend, we toured three very different farms and met with Stonyfield co-founder, Gary Hirshberg, all the while learning what the company does–besides making delicious yogurt!
Ultimately, the trip illustrated the many ways Stonyfield employees work with family farmers who wish to farm organically. Their mission is to support these farmers and give them the tools to be economically viable over the long haul in what is a demanding, sometimes thankless job that lies at the mercy of Mother Nature and a variety of economic variables. On a small scale, Stonyfield is looking to give people in farming communities a leg up. On a larger scale, their goal is the longterm sustainability of the region.
I’m working on a few recipes inspired by the trip and will tell more tales from our adventure along with the food. But since all good things take time, and I wanted to at least provide an initial update, the time seemed right to share my much-loved recipe for green goddess dressing. Vermont is nothing if not gorgeously green, and as you will see below, one of our Stonyfield hosts was officially crowned a goddess. 🙂
The original green goddess dressing originated far from Vermont, at The Palace Restaurant in San Francisco. Though tarragon is a traditional ingredient, it’s rather pungent, so I do without. If you wish to include this fresh herb, start with a tablespoon at most and taste before adding more. The combination of lemon juice and white wine vinegar gives this dressing a little something extra. Anchovies are also customary and highly recommended, even if the thought makes you a little squeamish. The dressing will still deliver great flavor without them, but just two fillets add an extra dimension of flavor without the slightest hint of fishiness.
Yield: a scant 1 1/2 cups
- 1/2 cup (120 grams) plain yogurt (I prefer whole milk yogurt but have used nonfat Greek as well; see recipe notes)
- 2/3 cup (138 grams) regular mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup firmly packed mix of fresh herbs (I love a combination of basil, parsley, and dill)
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped chives (in a pinch substitute minced green onions)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (I like to use about 1/4 teaspoon each but have omitted the salt for those who are watching their intake)
- Optional but recommended: 2-3 anchovy fillets
- Add all of the ingredients to a blender or small food processor and blend thoroughly, scraping down the sides as needed. If you do not have a blender or processor, finely chop the herbs and thoroughly mash the anchovies, if using, before stirring into the remaining ingredients.
- Store the dressing in a jar in the refrigerator where it will keep for approximately one week.
- Whole milk, regular (non-Greek) yogurt offers the smoothest flavor, which I really like in this recipe as it allows the herbs to shine. Nonfat Greek yogurt produces a thicker, tangier dressing. Low-fat yogurt offers a happy medium.
- If you don't have a blender, simply chop the herbs very finely and mix well. Also, the dressing recipe may be cut in half. In this case it's best not to use a blender as there won't be quite enough ingredients to reach the blending mechanism in most standard blenders.