How To Make Classic Green Goddess Dressing

How To Make Classic Green Goddess Dressing

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Meghan Splawn
Mar 8, 2017
(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Green goddess dressing is a garlic and herb, mayo-based dip that was once the empress of cool, creamy dressings. Describe green goddess dressing in the same breath as ranch dressing and you won't be wrong. Both use mayo as a base and are flavored with herbs and garlic. Green goddess dressing is just much stronger — and prettier — thanks to a number of fresh herbs with a savory undertone similar to Caesar dressing due to anchovy paste. Tempered with a squeeze of lemon juice and cool, creamy yogurt, green goddess dressing is the grown-up dip and dressing you can serve with fresh vegetables, on salads, or in your very own goddess bowl.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Add Yogurt To Green Goddess Dressing

Green goddess dressing was conceived in San Francisco at the historic Palace Hotel in the 1920s. It was supposedly created to honor George Arliss after the opening of the hit play "The Green Goddess." It was revived in the '70s and '80s when green goddess dressing was cast as a healthy option and became beloved amongst the health food circle before it was mainstream. Many recipes for green goddess dressing abound now, but my favorite version happens to come from a chain restaurant (Panera Bread, if you must know) so this recipe closely resembles the dressing from their Green Goddess Cobb Salad, with the significant upgrade of creamy yogurt.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Everything You Need to Know About Making Green Goddess Dressing

Make a blender mayo: Okay, I realize that you can go to the grocery store and buy any number of different mayonnaises, but you're going to dirty the blender for this recipe anyway, so why not have complete control over what goes into yours? Start with an egg yolk and a little dollop of mustard and stream in your favorite oil. You'll add the fresh herbs right to this without having to empty the blender.

Feeling weird about the egg? Feel free to use pasteurized eggs for the yolk rather than the raw egg. Or you can skip the egg all together and use store-bought mayonnaise. You'll need about 1 cup.

Add the herbs: Supposedly the original recipe for green goddess dressing included green onions and/or watercress in the green mix. This recipe uses the more mellow flavor of chives, partnered with parsley and tarragon. If your herb garden runneth over in the spring and summer, feel free to experiment with the herbs here.

Season with garlic and anchovy paste: Chopped garlic cloves and anchovy paste also go into the blender with the herbs. Chop the garlic first so it gets more finely chopped in the blender. If you want to skip the anchovy paste, you can substitute a teaspoon of white miso. It won't have the same super umami hit that comes from the anchovies, but it will still be delicious.

Whisk with yogurt or sour cream: Don't risk breaking your green goddess sauce by adding the yogurt straight to the blender; instead mix the green goddess base into the yogurt in a small mixing or serving bowl. The yogurt tames the garlic's sharp bite and makes the dressing base much thicker. If you keep sour cream on hand instead of Greek yogurt, feel free to use that instead.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

How to Use Greek Goddess Dressing

Green goddess dressing does double duty as both a dip and a green salad dressing, but it has a bunch of other uses, too. You can marinate chicken or shrimp in green goddess dressing or use it to dress pasta or potato salad. Fair warning, though: The finished dressing is quite thick, so be sure to toss your greens in the dressing rather than pour the dressing on top of your greens!

How To Make Green Goddess Dressing

Makes about 2 cups, 12 servings

What You Need

Ingredients
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup olive oil
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
1 clove garlic, chopped
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
Kosher salt

Equipment
Measuring cups and spoons
Blender
Whisk
Small mixing bowl

Instructions

  1. Make a quick mayonnaise: Pulse the egg yolk, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice in a blender with a few quick pulses. Turn the blender on and drizzle in the oil in a thin, steady stream. Continue to blend until the mixture is light in color and thick.
  2. Blend the herbs and garlic: Stop the blender and scrape down the sides. Add the parsley, chives, tarragon, anchovy paste, and garlic. Blend until smooth and vibrant green.
  3. Whisk the dressing with the yogurt: Place the Greek yogurt or sour cream in a medium bowl. Add the herb mayonnaise and stir to combine.
  4. Taste and season: Taste the dressing for seasoning. The anchovy paste is usually salty enough, but add additional salt if desired.
  5. Serve: Serve as a dip for crudité or as a dressing for salads.

Recipe Notes

  • Storage: Green goddess dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 1 week.
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