Do you remember green goddess dressing? It used to be pretty popular in the 70s and 80s when I first encountered it. If I’m not mistaken it was one of the usual dressings for a typical California salad with mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts and sunflower seeds, that one could order at the aptly named Good Earth restaurant in Palo Alto. It sounds like a dressing right out of Marin Country central casting, but apparently it was invented in the 20s, by the chef at the Palace Hotel (beautiful hotel, still there) in San Francisco, to commemorate the actor George Arliss and his play, The Green Goddess. Pre-Internet, not knowing the provenance of this dressing, all I cared about was that it tasted good, good enough to mask the taste of alfalfa sprouts which thankfully people don’t eat much of any more, and it was called “green” and “goddess” which appealed to this Birkenstock-wearing hippie wanna-be.
Fast forward to now, and you know what? This dressing is a gardener’s dream. I just picked some herbs from the garden, puréed them with some anchovy paste (essential), lemon juice, garlic, sour cream and mayo. Instant awesome. By the way, this recipe makes the kind of dressing that sort of glops on, so you want to toss it in with the lettuce greens, to just lightly coat the salad before serving. Or you can serve it as a dip. It’s great spread on crackers or with crudités.
Green Goddess Dressing Recipe
Vary the proportions of the herbs to suit your taste. If you want, add some ripe avocado to the mix.
- 2 teaspoons anchovy paste or 2-4 canned anchovies
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped tarragon
- 3 Tbsp chopped chives
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Put all of the ingredients in the bowl of a blender or food processor and blend or pulse until you get an evenly smooth dressing, about 30-45 seconds.
Serve as a dip, or toss with salad greens for a dressing.
The dressing should last about a week in the fridge.
Yield: Makes about 2 cups.