The Green Goddess Helps Those Who Help Themselves (A Salad Dressing)

17 Jan

So Marianne and I continue preparing food that encourages healthy eating and healthy weight for the new year. I like to make one meal a day a salad; as crunchy and varied as possible. Unless my mom is home making the powdered Italian stuff in the cruet (which I freely admit I love), I generally make my own, simple vinaigrettes or tahini-based dressings, but clearly it is time to branch out.

Do pack the tablespoon with the herbs; it is very hard to get an accurate measure of this, isn't it?

Do pack the tablespoon with the herbs; it is very hard to get an accurate measure of this, isn’t it?

Marianne’s brother, Peter, is famous for his Green Goddess dressing (and his pecan pie, but that’s for another day when I get his recipe!) and although I’d never had it before (see dressing history, below) , I happened upon a Green Goddess recipe in Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook  (a personal favorite that Marianne’s boys gave me a few years ago, as it happens) and well…game on!

Very airy in dressing form

Very airy in dressing form


Green Goddess Dressing– A salad dressing that is a mixture of mayonnaise, anchovies, tarragon vinegar, parsley, scallions, garlic, and other spices.

The Green Goddess Dressing created at San Francisco’s Palace Hotel (now called the Sheraton-Palace) in the 1920s. The Palace Hotel was built in 1875 and was San Francisco’s first grant lodging hotel. The Palace Hotel was considered the largest hotel in the western United States.

The hotel’s executive chef, Philip Roemer, named the dressing for English actor George Arliss (1868-1846), who stayed at the hotel and also ate in the Palm Court restaurant during the time he performed in the play called The Green Goddess. This play was considered the best play of the 1920-21 Broadway season and it later became on the earliest “talkie” movies in 1930. The actor frequently complemented San Francisco’s marvelous weather and proclaimed that it induced a healthy appetite.

From What’s Cooking America  by Linda Stradley, (Click here for the history of salads and dressings!)

We actually made two versions, one with lowfat sour cream for Marianne and with lowfat yogurt for me. She didn’t want the anchovies and I most certainly did. So we whirred all the veg in the food processor together, then split them up and finished them separately. They made about 1.5 Cups of dressing each – the sour cream version being much more thick and dip-worthy, and the yogurt version clearly good only for pouring. We were each very happy and I think you will be too. All Hail the Green Goddess!


Left, Green Goddess dressing; right, dip

Left, Green Goddess dressing; right, dip

Green Goddess Dressing

2 anchovy fillets, patted dry (optional)

2 small cloves garlic, peeled

2 scallions, including white and 3 inches of green, trimmed and cut into ½ chunks

1 Tbs packed fresh cilantro

2 Tbs packed fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tsp dried dill (1 Tbs if using fresh)

1 tsp dry tarragon

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

2 Tbs white vinegar

Dairy two options:

1)      Thick – ¾ low-fat sour cream and ¼ Cup mayonnaise

2)      Thin – ¾ Cup low- or non-fat yogurt and ½ Cup mayonnaise

Freshly ground black pepper


Place the anchovies, garlic, scallions, parsley, cilantro, dill, tarragon, sugar, salt, and vinegar in a food processor or blender and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides down with a soft spatula.

Add the sour cream/yogurt and mayo and run the machine until the mixture is smooth. Correct seasoning and add black pepper. Scrape into a clean container and refrigerate for at least six hours. Keeps for a week. You can add additional vinegar by a tablespoon or two to thin, reducing the amount of sour cream and mayonnaise by half.

You may also like:

Mediterranean Party Table with Tahini Dressing

Chickpeas with Tahini Dressing and a Balsamic Vinaigrette



5 Responses to “The Green Goddess Helps Those Who Help Themselves (A Salad Dressing)”

  1. Karen January 19, 2013 at 9:45 am #

    I haven’t had green goddess dressing in so long. I can’t wait to try the yogurt version.

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy January 19, 2013 at 10:03 am #

      Let me know how it goes! I am considering draining the yogurt next time to see whether I can get a more dip-like consistency!

  2. Mad Dog January 17, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    It’s definitely too cold today for salad here – they are predicting tons of snow tonight. I did however, eat a couple of raw tomatoes at lunchtime and just gnawed a carrot before putting it in the steamer. I do like the sound of the anchovies in that dressing – I’ll have to remember it 😉

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy January 17, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

      This does admittedly have a light summer feeling to it. And never mind that it is all out of season vegetables…can’t seem to kick that salad in winter habit, but thus reminded, I think I’ll work on some cabbage that I have in the fridge waiting for a bit of inspiration!

      • Mad Dog January 17, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

        I’m sure anchovies go with cabbage 😉

Talk foodie to me, baby...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: