Green Goddess dressing isn’t something you see too often anymore and that’s a shame. Its beautiful green color adds freshness to any table or dish. It’s versatile; it’s a great spread for sandwiches and canapés, swirled into soup and is terrific with chicken and steak. It also happens to be a great salad dressing. There are hundreds of versions of Green Goddess, ever since its creation at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in the early 1920’s. It was created for some actor that was in a play called The Green Goddess. This dressing was traditionally served on wedges of iceberg lettuce, which is still great, but it can be so much more than that.
The one thing that is a constant is most, if not all recipes, is anchovies. So many people don’t enjoy anchovies; I think they’ve had bad or inferior anchovies. Most come from Turkey or Morocco these days, but you can still purchase the ones from Italy. Those are my favorites. They are salty, with a subtle nutty and savory flavor, but never fishy. Anchovy paste is an option for those of us who just want to add depth of flavor, boost that umami aspect of steak, etc. Anchovies are a great way to add salt to a dish. Trust me when I tell you that a great Caesar salad cannot be made without anchovies.
The Goddess's Green Goddess
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves (or half watercress leaves)
- 4-5 anchovy fillets (I prefer the ones imported from Italy)
- 2 garlic scapes (when in season), cut into pieces
- 1 small clove garlic (omit if using scapes)
- 2 scallions, cut into pieces, using as much of the green as possible
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1-2 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dried tarragon
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1-2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and well-drained (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup mayonnaise, (I use low-fat Hellman’s)
- 2 tablespoons excellently flavored olive oil
Process all ingredients, except the mayo and olive oil, in the bowl of a food processor; whirl it up until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides from time to time. Add the mayonnaise and olive oil; whirl again until well combined and little green flecks remain. Taste and correct the seasoning. Pour into a container; cover and chill for several hours to allow the flavors to marry (right now, they’re just going steady). This keeps for at least 10 days in the fridge.
NOTE: You may use all watercress instead of the parsley. Some recipe call for dill, more tarragon, chervil, lemon zest, or basil. You may use 2 teaspoons anchovy paste instead of the whole anchovies and some recipes call for Worcestershire sauce. You my use part sour cream or Greek-style yogurt, but I must admit, I prefer this just mayonnaise.
The Goddess’s Green Goddess Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2015. All rights reserved.
I always add capers to my version. I adore capers and they work well with the tarragon. I didn’t add too many capers, as I was going to use them for the canapés and I didn’t want the final product to be overly salty.
One other thing to note—see the little bits of green in this version? This is how the dressing looks when you use a food processor. On the other hand, if you use a blender the color will be more homogeneous. Green Goddess also makes a great summer dip. Any way, you choose to use it, it’s delicious.