A Minorly Embellished Account of the Birth of Green Goddess Dip & Dressing380
with Michael Kimball
If you stepped foot into our test kitchen at any point during the past 6 months, chances are I force-fed you some Green Goddess Dip & Dressing. If you were lucky it came with a pretzel or baby carrot, or I at least told you what it was before I choo-choo-trained a big, green spoonful into your unsuspecting mouth. If you weren’t so lucky, you came by during my, “what even is green?” phase and tasted something that might have been more aptly named Gray Gardens or Unsettling Yellow. One thing I guess I had going for me was that while most of my victims had heard of Green Goddess, few knew what it was “supposed” to taste like.
The original Green Goddess paid homage to an actor in a play of the same name. It was 1923 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco and chef Philip Roemer combined green herbs, anchovies, and mayonnaise for an instant hit. The enchanting name and distinctive color have endured, but modern versions vary widely in terms of flavor and many struggle to be anything more than green ranch.
When I was first tasked with developing a Savory-fied Green Goddess, I knew I wanted a creamy, herbaceous, and intriguingly savory dressing with a seductive green color. Anchovies were the real stars of the original, offering a briny, umami element that isn’t so much fishy as it is magical. Combined with fresh herbs, you basically have the salad dressing equivalent of a mermaid’s garden. Turns out, many people are turned off by anchovies. So, I set out to recreate those same cravable qualities, sans tiny fish.
Cue montage of me adding various ingredients to a blender: tamarind, spinach, curry, avocado, every herb in Savory Spice’s arsenal, and random green objects from around the test kitchen. When I was about to just give up and make green ranch, the heavens opened and a curious green bottle descended in a pillar of light into my weary, mayonnaise-covered hands. #blessed.
Don’t believe me? The proof is in the pouch. Adding just a pinch of this ingredient gifted from the goddesses to a blend of tangy buttermilk, sweet, lush tarragon, and mouth-watering Worcestershire endowed it with the compelling umami quality I had been searching for. One taste of this reimagined classic and your mind will begin teeming with the culinary possibilities: garden-fresh crudité platters, heavenly grilled cheese sandwiches, divine pasta salads, and warm turkey wraps you'll worship. No matter how you use it, expect your friends and family to demand an encore.
You’re probably waiting for me to tell you just what was in that holy bottle...alright, I’ll share: nori flakes, aka dried, roasted seaweed. These shimmering flakes are sweet, nutty, and subtly reminiscent of the sea without going full-fish. A natural source of glutamic acid (aka what makes MSG so dang good, but without the foodie controversy), they also impart that hard-to-put-your-finger-on-but-undeniably-delicious umami flavor.
There you have it, folks. The very true, only minorly embellished account of how Spice 'n Easy Green Goddess Dip & Dressing came to be, rising from the sea like a viridian Venus. The moral of this origin story is that this dressing tastes really good and is definitely green. Those are the facts. The rest? I’ll leave that up to you.