Permanent Collection founder Fanny Singer created this recipe in honor of the summer bounty flooding the farmers' market. Dressed with a riff on a classic 'Green Goddess' dressing, this version keeps things extra crunchy, fresh and green.
Use our mortar & pestle to make this herby mashed avocado sauce and toss in our beautiful salad bowl with our salad servers — garnish with fennel flowers (we've got tips on where to find them: see endnote) and serve on our new green salad plates.
4 Little Gems
1 large ripe yellow peach
1 ear of fresh sweet corn, kernels removed from cob
1/2 cup Sungold cherry tomatoes, halved (red cherry tomatoes work too)
1 small ripe avocado
1/4 cup plain unsweetened sheep's milk, cow's milk or unflavored, additive-free coconut yogurt
1 firm fresh clove of garlic
1/8 cup Champagne or white wine vinegar
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 sprigs tarragon
2 sprigs basil
2 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs cilantro
2 sprigs shiso (optional)
Fennel flowers (optional)
Start by cutting the gems in quarter wedges lengthwise and wash thoroughly. Wrap in a cloth towel and place in the fridge until ready to assemble the salad.
Pound the clove of garlic and a big pinch of salt in the mortar & pestle until pulverized and translucent. Add the zest of the lemon, a big squeeze of its juice and the champagne or white wine vinegar. Allow to sit and macerate for a few minutes while you remove the corn kernels from the cob with a sharp knife and slice the tomatoes in half through their stem scars.
Add the flesh of the avocado to the mortar and mash until pureed. Add the yogurt and whisk well to combine. Start by adding a big glug of olive oil and incorporate it completely — then taste. Does it seem balanced but still bright? Does it need more olive oil to round out the flavor?
Remove the leaves of all the herbs from their stems (except the chives) and chop to a medium size (not too coarse, but also not too fine, as you risk bruising them). You can use all these herbs, or just a couple — it's a very adaptable recipe, just adjust upward in quantity if you remove some varieties. The most important herbs for a green goddess, however, are tarragon, basil and parsley — do your best to source these and keep them in the mix. Add the chopped herbs to the mortar and stir well to combine. Again, taste — adjust acid, oil or salt to your preference. The texture and viscosity should be closer to a thin mayonnaise or a ranch dressing than to a very liquid, pourable vinaigrette.
Remove the gem wedges from the fridge and place them in a salad bowl. Pour over 1/2 cup of the dressing and use your hands to toss, making sure the leaves are well-coated (you may need more dressing, this is one os those rare salads that's good when heavily dressed. Leftover dressing will keep well in the fridge for a couple of days and it great in egg salad or on a lobster roll).
Arrange the dressed wedges nicely in the bowl. Wash, dry and slice your peach in crescents and arrange the slices nestled among the leaves. Scatter over the fresh corn and cherry tomatoes. Chop the chives in half-centimeter lengths and scatter overtop. Lastly, if you have fennel flowers, toss them over like confetti.
A note on finding fennel: Fennel flowers are increasingly showing up at farmers' markets, but it's also possible to forage for them in your neighborhood or in the wild. Once you know what you're looking fro you'll see the plant sprouting between sidewalks and roads, alongside railroad tracks, along the fringes of paths on hikes in the wild. You're looking for a stalky, umbelliferous plant with bright yellow flowers that smells strongly of anise when you crush the flowers between your fingertips. As with all foraging, be careful not to harvest from an area where a plant might be exposed to anything especially toxic or hazardous, and always be sure to wash your harvest throughly before eating.