Basics & Beyond: Dress for Success

Basics & Beyond: Dress for Success

Don't let your salad go out under-dressed!

Craig J. Mombert PC1, MCFE, CPFM

Executive Chef
Davidson College
Davidson, NC

“Green Goddess dressing was used in an environmental ‘Green Week’ promotion this year at the Union Cafe. All week, the specials were ‘green’ menu items: pesto pizza, ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ Quiche, and a Green Goddess salad.

“Green Goddess dressing has a cult status. It's hard to find it in stores, so that's why we make it ourselves (see sidebar for more on Green Goddess). One staffer here, a woman who is in her 60s, mentioned it and I said, ‘It's been years since I heard that!’

“I make Green Goddess salads with spinach, watercress, tarragon, parsley, garlic, oil, mayonnaise and a little bit of regular yellow mustard. Some people might be a little leery of the tarragon, because that can be an acquired taste, but most love it. We've had people ask when we're having it again.

“It is one of the dressings we have on rotation to keep things interesting. We have other ‘retro’ dressings, like Thousand Island dressing, on rotation along with Green Goddess. If someone asks for it, though, we'll have it out by the next week, and that shows people that we are listening. It's good to be able to give them options.”

Keith DeMars

Director of Nutrition and Dining Services
Bon Secours Richmond Health System
St. Mary's Hospital
Richmond, VA

“In my Roasted Garlic Potato Salad, the roasted garlic hits the back of your palate. I first served this at a church picnic, and soon after, they put the recipe in the church bulletin. The ingredients for the dressing include garlic, olive oil, mayonnaise, chives, flat-leaf parsley, cider vinegar, oregano, salt, white pepper and Dijon mustard. I use small red-skinned potatoes, California ripe olives and peas for the salad itself.

“You can change flavor profiles in dressings by using different olive oils. I love to use white truffle olive oil. The earthy tone marries beautifully with a lot of other flavors. That's also true with vinegar. You can use a tarragon vinegar to bring out sweetness. I love tarragon because I come from the old French cooking tradition. I graduated from the CIA in the 1970s, when French cuisine was the only thing.

“The roasted garlic is the main ingredient in my potato salad dressing. Roasting garlic to get that wonderful flavor is easy. You take heads of garlic, cut off the tops and roast. You can use that as a garnish. Take the roasted head of garlic and fluff it out so it ‘blooms’ and it looks very nice. Place that right on top.”