Green Goddess Dressing

Green Goddess Dressing is an herbaceous creamy dressing that is perfect over hearty greens, as a dip for crudités or even a sauce for cooked vegetables.

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Green Goddess Dressing may sound like an undertaking, but it is actually a very easy dressing to make with either a food processor or blender. The only difference between using one appliance over another is that with a food processor, I add the ingredients in stages, whereas with a blender everything can almost go in at once.

Ingredients for green goddess dressing on a wooden tray.

For the food processor method, add the anchovy fillet and clove of garlic down the feed tube with the processor running. That helps to mince the garlic before it gets lost in all the other ingredients. Then, add the fresh herbs and pulse the processor several times to get the herbs chopped up. Finally, add all the wet ingredients except for the sour cream and process until smooth and creamy. The sour cream goes in last and just gets pulsed in the processor to incorporate it gently so that there’s no risk of the sour cream breaking (sour cream can break from high heat OR from being mixed with acid, like the lemon juice in this recipe). For the blender, add the anchovy fillet, garlic and herbs through the hole in the lid while the blender blends. Then add all the wet ingredients, leaving the sour cream for last. 

Green Goddess Dressing in a blender.

Originally, Green Goddess dressing (allegedly created in San Francisco in 1923 to celebrate the actor George Arliss and the production of a play starring Arliss called The Green Goddess) was made with herbs and watercress or scallions. That leads to a very strong and sharp flavor which might not please everyone, so this recipe uses chives instead for a gentler flavor and I think it works really nicely. The tarragon is a dominant flavor in the dressing and the mild anise flavor is very refreshing. You’ll also find there’s a significant garlic aroma to this dressing. If you’re no fan of garlic (and I really prefer gentler garlic flavor myself), remember that cloves of garlic really vary in size. Make sure you use a small clove or even cut a clove of garlic in half. You could even leave the garlic out if you prefer. It’s your dressing. 

As with most creamy dressings, serve Green Goddess dressing on hearty greens that can handle the weight of the sauce or try it as a dip for crudités. It coats the vegetables so nicely and the color is beautiful, especially next to all the bright colors of raw veg.

Green Goddess Dressing in a bowl with crudités.

If it’s salad you’re going for, use heartier lettuces like Romaine or Bibb lettuces. Whatever green you choose, it needs to be sturdy enough to handle the weight of a creamy dressing. This is not for your delicate mesclun mix or arugula.

Green Goddess Dressing over baby gem lettuces on a wooden plate with a bottle of dressing and some herbs on the side.

It’s hard to make a small quantity of dressing in a food processor or blender – these appliances need enough ingredients in them to properly blend – so find a nice bottle to store any leftover dressing from this recipe. You’ll be glad to have it on hand.

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Green Goddess Dressing

  • Prep Time: 5 m
  • Cook Time: 5 m
  • Total Time: 10 m
  • Servings:
    16

Ingredients

  • 1 anchovy fillet
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • cup fresh tarragon
  • ¼ cup fresh chives
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place the anchovy fillet, garlic clove and fresh herbs in a blender and process until roughly chopped.
  2. Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice and white wine vinegar. Blend again until completely smooth and no large pieces of herb remain.
  3. Add the sour cream and pulse until it is incorporated. (Over-blending could cause the sour cream to break. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (it probably won’t need any more seasoning, but that’s up to you). Chill before serving. Toss with some salad greens or vegetables, serve as a crudité dip or use as a marinade for chicken or fish.
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Comments (6)Post a Reply

  1. Meredith,

    Green Goddess Dressing – this was a favorite growing up in the midwest where it was served in supper clubs and fancy restaurants.

    My question is about measurements on the fresh herbs. For example 1 cup of parsley, since it will go in a blender to be roughly chopped, how do I measure. Should the parsley be chopped into one cup before adding to the blender? Same question for the other fresh herbs.

    I am looking forward to trying the recipe and serving to my sister-in-law when she comes to visit me later this month. She is always looking for a great green goddess dressing that compares to her favorite at the Cellar Restaurant Geneseo Illinois.

    Thank you.
    Sarah Pottorf

    1. Hi Sarah. In my recipes, when it says “1 cup parsley, chopped”, measure out the parsley leaves into a cup measure (pressing them down a little) and then chop them. If it says “1 cup chopped parsley”, chop the parsley first and then measure it. Hope that helps and I hope you love the dressing!
      ML

    1. Oh – so many things! Anchovies can be stirred into any braise as a seasoning – you don’t taste the anchovy, but it seasons it nicely. They are also a key ingredient in Pasta Putanesca and Pissaladière (both of which I should probably make and post on my website). My Dad used to put anchovies in his egg salad sandwiches. They are basically a salty ingredient that you can use instead of salt if you like. Having said all of that, if you don’t really like anchovies, you can use anchovy paste instead of opening a tin. The paste comes in a tube and is easy to store with a very long shelf life in your refrigerator.

    1. If you really don’t like anchovies, just leave them out. It won’t be quite the same, but it will work. You might find, however, that even if you put the anchovies into the dressing you won’t really taste anchovies.

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