In all the land of dressings and dips, is any other so enchanting as the Green Goddess? Does any other, in name or allure, sing as sweetly this Siren’s call? Enticing those whose ears bend and knees buckle at the prospect of its goes-well-with-or-on-anything versatility? Onion dip? Ranch? Caesar? 1000 Island? No. Perhaps one of the vinaigrettes, such as raspberry or fines herbes? Ha! Mere demigods in the pantheon! Catalina? Oh, it rolls off the tongue beautifully, but cannae hold its ketchupy candle to the beaming light of the Green Goddess.
Heed the call: evoking not fear of destruction for those who hearken to it, but instead, the promise of reward. Green Goddess is an ethos. It sparks a spirit of curiosity in the uninitiated, and from the ether draws a cheerful nostalgia for those who’ve encountered it before. It is a time, a place, a feeling. It’s green from lively herbs that grow in careless abundance as long as the summer sun and rain take turns blessing them. Is there any other color that conveys the vibrancy and fullness of life—and of being alive—so surely as the color green? Red? Perhaps. But perhaps not with the same innocuous virtue. Blue? Blue may just be the one akin to the gems of emerald that grow in the forests and jungles, in and on our blue oceans and rivers and lakes and ponds, in our yards, and yes, of course, in our gardens as well.
There is no need to be limited in scope for how you choose to incorporate Green Goddess into your life. While you will often see it in the form of a dressing for salads, don’t think it just has to be of the lettuce variety. It also works wonderfully as a dip for crudités, chips of all kinds (I’m partial to Terra Chips), french fries, sweet potato fries, polenta fries, lump crabmeat and poached shrimp, chicken tenders...you dream it, you dip it! I’m also quite fond of it as a dressing for sandwiches, and I find particular happiness in putting it on a BLT. Also, don’t feel you must comply strictly to the ingredients. Herbs can be swapped (think tarragon, chervil, mint) and chives can stand in for scallions, too. Opt for mayo, yogurt, or buttermilk instead of the sour cream and kefir. Lime instead of lemon juice! Have at it! You’re ultimately looking for the end result to be creamy and tangy up front with a little twang; lively, herbaceous, and green-tasting in the middle (yes, I said green-tasting, I’ve diagnosed myself with synesthesia, nbd); with a follow through of umami and a touch of funk from the anchovy paste and fish sauce. I can’t stress this enough: Don't sleep on the fish sauce. Fish sauce is very, very good.
Now, as with the ingredients, you can take the method for this recipe in a few directions, depending on how you intend to use it. I like a thicker, dippy version and the following method is what I use to produce that. If you want a thinner salad dressing consistency, place all the ingredients in the food processor at once and take it from there. If you want a homogenous green color in conjunction with a thinner salad dressing consistency, use a blender instead of a food processor and blend all of the ingredients together until puréed.
Yield: about 2 ½ cups
Note: Use the leaves and fronds of the herbs for this recipe, but save the stems to use in stock! I keep a Ziploc bag of vegetable trim in my freezer for just that purpose.
Well hello! I'm Kat, and
I'm always either cooking or thinking about what I want to cook next. For me, food is always about so much more than just my next meal. This is a place for sharing stories and recipes from a life lived through the lens of food...