How to Make the Perfect Green Goddess Dressing

The Greenest Green Salad | Photo by Ed Anderson

The Greenest Green Salad | Photo by Ed Anderson

There’s a reason why everyone loves green goddess salad dressing—the undeniable creaminess, the harmonious combination of herbs, or the gorgeous color. Regardless, chefs have been making and altering it for nearly 100 years.

But most people don’t know anything about the dressing’s rich history. Dating back to 1923, it has been said the dressing was brought to prominence at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, where the chef aptly named the beloved dressing after the hit play The Green Goddess. It is even said to be inspired by the green sauce that was served over eel to King Louis XII. Since then, the dressing has been innovated and recreated by chefs such as James Beard and sold in bottles by Trader Joe’s, Annie’s, Kraft, and many other brands. And its popularity has even invaded TikTok, when a green goddess salad recipe went viral last month. Variations of the dressing come and go, but one thing will always ring true: No one can get enough of it.

Chef Jessica Battilana, who featured her green goddess dressing in her cookbook Repertoire: All The Recipes You Need, has perfected the recipe, learning which ingredients create the richest flavor. “My version gets its color and flavor from a lot of soft herbs—chives, parsley, tarragon, and basil,” she says. “Some versions contain avocado, or spinach, but mine does not. Not all versions have anchovies, but I think it gives my version of the dressing a deep savory flavor that I really like.”

As for the base, Battilana skips the frills and gets straight to business, using her star ingredient, Hellman’s mayonnaise, or what she calls her “house mayonnaise.” She insists on the store-bought condiment for a multitude of reasons, especially when she doesn’t have a lot of time but still wants to make a delicious dressing.

“I like the flavor of it, and it’s what I grew up with. It also is thick enough to give the dressing some body. But you could use your favorite brand of mayonnaise, or make your own (though making your own mayonnaise for a salad dressing feels a little “extra”),” Battilana says.

Classically trained Chef Billy Parisi, who is known for adapting fine dining cooking into just-as-tasty home-cooked meals, on the other hand, goes for a healthier approach in his version, using yogurt and honey as opposed to mayonnaise and sugar. He agrees, though, that the herbs are crucial.

“Don’t be scared to add in more herbs or more vinegar than the typical green goddess dressings out there,” says Parisi. “It should be extremely flavorful because, after all, you are using it not only as a sauce or dressing, but something to season whatever it is you’re pouring it on. So an incredibly flavorful dressing will only help enhance the taste of what you’re eating.”

And if you’re not in the mood for a salad? The dressing works on myriad dishes, whether you want to eat it like King Louis XIII as a sauce over fish, on sandwiches, or on a crunchy tortilla chip like baked by Melissa. Battilana recommends storing it in a lidded container in the fridge for up to four days, and says to make sure to check the seasoning before serving, as the fridge can tone down the flavor.

“I love it so much, I could drink it,” Battilana raves. “I jokingly call it my version of ‘green juice.'”

Jessica Battilana’s Green Goddess Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 oil-packed anchovy filets
  • ½ cup mayonnaise, preferably Hellmann’s/Best Foods
  • ⅓ cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup parsley leaves
  • ¼ cup basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus additional for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced chefs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. In a food processor combine the anchovy files, mayonnaise, yogurt, parsley, basil, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and process until smooth and brilliant green.
2. Transfer to a lidded jar, stir in the tarragon and chives, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice.

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Kelsey Allen is an editorial assistant at Thrillist.

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One thought on “How to Make the Perfect Green Goddess Dressing

  • March 18, 2022 at 3:26 am
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