There's a restaurant called Hollywood Tavern in a neighboring town that is famous for their burger with bacon jam. While it is delicious, I usually ask for a gluten-free bun or no bun because I eat gluten-free. When I don't want to fight with a commercially made gluten free bun falling apart in my hands or I don't want to eat a burger with a fork, I'll order their beautiful Green Goddess Salad. I'm sure there are things about the original that I've missed in my attempt to recreate the Tavern Green Goddess Salad, I have to say that it was pretty tasty. And being able to make something at home will never preclude me from going out to restaurants. I absolutely love that experience.
What makes this salad special?
Well, the Green Goddess Dressing is, of course, very special and delicious. But then, there's the other interesting ingredients, too! Frizzled onions, bacon bits, toasted hazelnuts, dried cherries, blue cheese ... and grilled chicken.
What about those frizzled onions?
I don't know how the restaurant frizzles their onions, but it really is simple to do. Just cut the onion thinly and then in half, put them in a pot with enough high-heat oil to just barely cover them. Turn the heat to high until the oil starts boiling, stir often, and adjust the heat as needed so as not to burn them before they are cooked through.
After about 20 minutes, they'll look like the following photo. Nice, golden, crispy, and absolutely delicious.
What kind of lettuce should I use?
The restaurant uses romaine lettuce and it's absolutely lovely. However, the lettuce in my garden is ready to eat and that's what you see here. I do recommend a sturdy lettuce like romaine, however, and not a softer one like Boston Bibb (also known as butter lettuce). The other ingredients are strong in texture and flavor and really need a sturdy lettuce.
Questions about the other ingredients?
I've tried toasting in the oven with limited success. I get much better results toasting in a skillet, preferably my grandmother's cast iron one. I can keep the hazelnuts moving around resulting in them being more evenly toasted.
I say use what you like! Are you a fan of Stilton? Then, by all means, use that. Gorgonzola? Yes, that's my choice! And if you don't like blue cheese, I think feta would be a great substitute!
You might not think that they would make that much difference, but they lend a slight sweetness and texture that is really wonderful.
The bacon has to be crispy! Follow my instructions on how to bake it perfectly and you'll have just the right bacon bits.
And there ya have it! A delicious Tavern Green Goddess Salad.
Tavern Green Goddess Salad
- 2 hearts of Romaine or other sturdy lettuce that you prefer
- 1 red onion cut into thin half-slices
- ¼ cup sundried cherries
- ¼ cup blue cheese crumbled
- ¾ cup hazelnuts toasted
- 4 bacon slices crispy and cut into bits
- Green Goddess Dressing
- 2 grilled chicken breasts sliced thin
- Cut the onion into thin half-slices and put them in a pot with enough high-heat oil to just barely cover them. Turn the heat to high until the oil starts boiling, stir often, and adjust the heat as needed so as not to burn them before they are cooked through. After about 20 minutes, they should be nice, golden, crispy, and absolutely delicious. Remove from the oil and let them cool on a paper towel-lined tray.
- While the onions are frying, bake the bacon (See Notes), prepare the chicken for grilling by cutting in half horizontally and seasoning with salt and pepper, and toast the hazelnuts.
- Cut the lettuce into bite sized pieces and put in a bowl large enough to toss the salad with the other ingredients and the dressing. Add all the other ingredients except the chicken. Toss with Green Goddess Dressing (See Notes).
- Place on a large platter and lay the sliced grilled chicken on top.
- Serve immediately.