Green goddess dressing is a creamy, savory salad dressing that gets its name from its greenish tint. It is believed that the dressing originated in the United States and has been served since the 1920s. Although recipes for this dressing vary slightly, the classic version includes a base made of mayonnaise and sour cream that is flavored with chives, chervil, lemon juice, and tarragon. The dressing is seasoned with salt and pepper.
For many years, green goddess dressing was eclipsed in popularity by ranch dressing. In recent years it has begun to make a comeback. It is now sold by a number of gourmet or specialty food companies and often shows up on the menus at chic restaurants. Some more modern recipes include tahini in the dressing.
There are a number of companies that bottle green goddess dressing, but it can easily be made at home. Home cooks can mix the classic ingredients in a bowl, then season with salt and pepper to taste. This recipe can be made in a low-fat variety by swapping the quantities of the mayonnaise and sour cream and using low-fat or fat-free sour cream.
For this dressing to be suitable for vegetarians, the sour cream will have to be a variety that is made without the use of gelatin, which is a non-vegetarian ingredient that is sometimes used as a thickener in this dairy product. Also, the dressing can be made in a way that is suitable for vegans by using vegan mayonnaise and vegan sour cream. When making this dressing for vegetarians or vegans, the anchovies must be removed from the ingredients list.
Though not all varieties of green goddess dressing include tarragon, some people believe it is an important ingredient in the classic version of the dressing. Chervil can be substituted for the tarragon, as can parsley if tarragon is not available. Similarly, chives can be substituted with scallions.