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I’ve been feeling a little more than myself these days, friends. Let’s call it the Parisian fifteen. I mean, with all the wine, butter, and pastries that I’m constantly surrounded with, all of it superb, I more or less expected to get a bit more rubenesque during my time in France. Not to mention the fact that, despite walking more in this city, I’m still not quite as active as I was in LA. I used to go out to dance salsa at least twice a week. Now I’m lucky if I get to a club once every three weeks.

I’m okay with looking little rounder. My mother is always telling me I need to gain a few pounds anyway. But along with the lack of definition in the ab-area came this general feeling of unwellness — crankiness, headaches, a general feeling of blah in my body. I am not okay with feeling unfit.

So! I am making a conscious effort to eat a little better and exercise a little more. Don’t worry, I’m certainly not giving up on making or eating delicious buttery confections. Just a bit less of that and a bit more of this. And maybe taking long walks around museums more often.

Green Goddess on Little Gem “Fingers”

Adapted from the Tastespotting Blog.

Little Gem lettuce is like a miniature cross between Romaine and Butter lettuces. The tiny, tight little heads look very much like small hearts of Romaine with the same hearty crunch, but it’s got the lovely mellow background sweetness of Butter lettuce. If you want to cut it into little finger wedges, like I have, make sure to buy very tight heads.

I first saw this play on Green Goddess dressing on the Tastespotting blog, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I find chopping and mincing therapeutic, so I pre-chopped everything before whizzing it with a hand blender. You could certainly do all of it in a food processor or blender if you don’t have my love of knife work.

Makes two servings.

1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 ripe medium avocado
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
2 oil packed anchovies
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
2 heads Little Gem lettuce

Toss everything but the herbs and oil into a large bowl and blend quickly with a hand blender, until it begins to look smooth but not completely uniform. With the blender running, add the oil in a stream, then add the herbs and blend until it reaches a smoothie-like consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill for three hours or so.

Trim off any brown parts from the base of the Little Gem heads, but keep the base intact. Cut the heads in half top-to-bottom (i.e., through the base, keeping the leaves attached to each half, then cut each half into three wedges. You might lose some shards of leaves; that’s okay, just snack on them.

Serve the “fingers” of lettuce with a jar or bowl of Green Goddess for dipping.

Music to cook by: Gotta Have You [The Weepies // Say I Am You]

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