Salad dressings don’t usually get their start on the stage, except for the classic Green Goddess, that is. Created in 1923 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, this verdant dressing was made to celebrate a stage production of the same name. Unbeknownst to the creator at the time, the simple blend of mayonnaise, fresh herbs and anchovies would become a staple in North America throughout the 20th century. Let’s just say that if Green Goddess didn’t pave the way, ranch dressing wouldn’t be as prominent on the grocery store shelves as it is today.
The best part of this particular salad dressing, aside from its amazing deity-provoking name, is its remarkable versatility. Its first calling may be to tenderly coat cool spinach leaves, crispy iceberg wedges or tender butter lettuce, but try serving it alongside grilled chicken, steaks and pork, or with roasted potatoes and cauliflower. The list of uses runs longer than the dressing’s history.
Without further ado, here’s how to make the famous Green Goddess dressing at home, and our favourite salad to serve it with.
Classic Green Goddess Dressing
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 1½ cups
¼ cup fresh tarragon leaves
¼ cup fresh chervil leaves
¼ cup fresh chives, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
5 anchovy fillets
Juice of 1 lemon (about ¼ cup)
⅔ cup mayonnaise
⅔ cup sour cream
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1. In a food processor or blender, add tarragon, chervil, chives, garlic, anchovies and lemon juice. Blend until a thick paste forms. Pulse in remaining ingredients and blend until full combined and pastel green in colour. Store airtight in refrigerator up to days.
Roast Chicken, Almond and Currant Salad with Green Goddess Dressing
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Cool Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Serves: 4 to 5
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 cup raw almonds
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper, to taste
⅔ cup water
⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup dried currants
6 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
6 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 avocados, pitted and flesh cubed
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
Classic Green Goddess Dressing, as needed (recipe above)
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Add chicken to a baking dish and roast until skin is crispy and interior is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate to cool. Once chicken is cool, remove skin and separate meat from bones into bite-sized pieces. Discard skin and bones or save for use in another recipe. Reserve meat.
2. Place almonds into same baking dish (containing chicken drippings), season with salt and pepper and return to 400ºF oven. Roast almonds for 10 minutes, or until fragrant and beginning to brown. Transfer almonds to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess fat. Once cool, roughly chop almonds. Reserve almonds.
1. Add currants to a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring water and vinegar to a simmer and pour over currant. Let sit for 10 minutes, strain and reserve currants.
Salad and Assembly:
1. In a large bowl, add lettuce, celery, avocado, tomatoes, cheese, chicken and currants. Add Green Goddess dressing to coat lettuce mixture and gently toss. Transfer salad to a serving platter, top with almonds and serve.
Green Goddess 101
Many Green Goddess recipes call for parsley instead of, or in addition to, chervil. Although chervil looks similar to parsley, the taste and texture of the fresh herbs are quite different. Chervil has a more subdued, fresher taste compared to that of parsley, and boasts somewhat of a licorice flavour, similar to fennel. Find chervil at specialty grocers, farmers’ markets or your own backyard.
Basil is another tender, summery herb that can be added to a Green Goddess dressing. A touch of mint is nice, too, but rosemary, thyme, sage and oregano have distinct flavours that will easily overpower the more delicate herbs.
Ripe avocado adds creaminess to a Green Goddess dressing, typically in lieu of mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt, and is an especially ideal substitute when egg or dairy allergies or are involved, or those following a vegan diet.
For more ways to jazz up your greens, check out our best homemade salad dressing recipes.