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Salad of Butter Lettuce and Radishes with Green Goddess Dressing

Serves: Makes 4 servings


  • ½ medium ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into cubes
  • ½ cup mayonnaise (low-fat is fine)
  • ¼ cup sour cream (low-fat is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 green onions, ends trimmed, green and white parts finely minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, or to taste
  • 2 to 3 drops hot pepper sauce, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon water, or more if needed

  • 1 large or 2 medium heads butter lettuce (enough for 4 cups of bite-size lettuce pieces)
  • 2 ears fresh corn, in the husks
  • 4 medium radishes, ends trimmed, thinly sliced (about ½ cup)


Invented in the 1920s at the historic Palace Hotel in San Francisco, this creamy dressing was created in honor of actor George Arliss, who was appearing in the stage play The Green Goddess. The original recipe consisted of mayonnaise, anchovies, vinegar, green onions and herbs. In this modern update, we’ve included avocado to enrich its silky texture and enhance the lovely green color. This dressing is best made one day in advance to allow the flavors to blend together. It’s delicious over crisp salad greens, tomatoes or chilled seafood, and is also a lovely dip for crudités.

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

For the Dressing: Combine the avocado, mayonnaise, sour cream, herbs, green onions, garlic, and anchovy paste in the bowl of a mini food processor; process until very smooth.

With the processor running, add the vinegar and hot pepper sauce; continue processing until fully incorporated. Again, with the processor running, add the water to thin the dressing to the desired consistency. (Note: For crudités dip, adding water may be unnecessary.) Season to taste with salt and white pepper, then refrigerate until needed.

For the Salad: Wash, dry, and crisp the lettuce; refrigerate until needed.

Trim both ends of the corn. Place in the oven and roast until the kernels are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and let cool until just cool enough to handle, then remove the husks and silk. Allow to cool completely.

Use a sharp knife to cut the kernels from the cob. Discard the cobs, and reserve the roasted corn kernels.

Select four, large, beautiful outer lettuce leaves and set aside. Tear or cut the remaining lettuce into bite-size pieces.

Combine the lettuce pieces, corn, and radishes in a medium mixing bowl; toss gently to mix evenly.

Place one of the reserved whole lettuce leaves on each of four chilled salad plates. Mound the salad mixture onto the leaves, dividing it evenly between the plates.

Just before serving, taste the dressing and correct the seasoning as needed with additional salt, pepper, and vinegar. Drizzle the dressing attractively over the salads, and serve immediately. For a buffet presentation, line the outer edge of a chilled medium platter with the whole lettuce leaves, and mound the salad mixture in the center. Serve the dressing on the side, and allow your guests to help themselves.

Tested and perfected in the Sur la Table kitchen

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