Once upon a time — the 1960s, or maybe ’70s — when Jell-O salads ruled the potluck table and a salad dressing called Green Goddess was all the rage, someone invented Green Goddess Jell-O.
It was made with lime gelatin flavored with garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper, texturized with mayonnaise and sour cream, and filled out with anchovies. TWO CANS of anchovies. The gelatin was chilled, then cut into cubes and served over a crabmeat salad. I have a hard time wrapping my brain around that combination — even if I imagine it as a poor man’s aspic.
When Donna Sugiura wrote in search of a Green Goddess Salad that she was introduced to in a high school family food class, it was clear she wasn’t looking for the anchovy-laden version. "It had pineapple, lime Jell-O, Dream Whip or Cool Whip, cottage cheese."
I put out a call for help to Cynthia Pratt, who teaches food science at Kapolei High School. She contacted a network of fellow teachers, and Linda Uyehara, a retired Farrington High School teacher, came up with the Green Goddess Salad Bowl from a 1973 Jell-O cookbook. Thankfully, she also came up with her aunt Yuriko Morisato’s recipe for Cottage Cheese Jell-O, which was much closer to what Sugiura was seeking. "She is in a care home now," Uyehara says of her aunt, "but she used to always make it, and as she got older and her memory began to fade, she could still make it from memory!"
What follows is a recipe that combines Morisato’s and another basic gelatin recipe from Kraft Foods, maker of Jell-O. That one actually carried the name of Green Goddess, although the ingredients were slightly different.
It’s not a revolutionary dessert — you’ve probably had one like it many times at many potlucks, although possibly with another color of gelatin. But it is refreshing, simple and light. Pretty, too, as it forms two layers.
GREEN GODDESS GELATIN DESSERT
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup boiling water
1 3-ounce package lime gelatin
1 cup whipped cream topping (such as Cool Whip)
Drain pineapple juice from can into a measuring cup (you’ll have about a 1/4 cup). Add ice cubes to make 1 cup.
Stir pineapple into cottage cheese.
In a separate large mixing bowl, pour boiling water over gelatin. Stir to dissolve gelatin.
Add pineapple juice and ice cubes, stirring until gelatin cools and ice cubes are mostly melted. Stir in cottage cheese mixture, then add whipped topping. Fold gently until well combined.
Pour into a 5-by-9-inch glass loaf pan or any pan or bowl that holds 6 cups. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Mixture will separate into 2 layers.
Nutritional information unavailable.
» If you don’t like the lumpiness of cottage cheese, replace it with softened cream cheese or mayonnaise.
» The recipe as given is slightly soft. For a firmer version, use 2 packages of gelatin and 2 cups boiling water, but keep other ingredient quantities the same.
» Stir in 1 cup fresh fruit, such as blueberries or sliced strawberries. Blueberries especially add a nice crunch.
» Stir in 1/2 cup crushed walnuts or macadamia nuts.
» To make this more of a salad than a dessert, stir in 1/2 cup diced celery, a small jar of pimentos and some chopped nuts (any type).
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