If ingredients were musical instruments, I would be an expert in playing the herbs.
Who doesn’t love a good sage solo?
Even if you’re not fully acquainted with the array of fresh herbs on display at the store, it only takes a few pulses of the food processor to become a green goddess dressing genius.
Our recipe calls upon tender varieties like chives, cilantro, and parsley with grassy, oniony flavors. It’s also loaded with lemon zest and juice which, in my opinion, is key to balancing a rich concoction made with creamy elements.
Olive oil is often in the lineup of usual suspects when you’re whisking up a salad dressing, but green goddess calls upon mayonnaise and sour cream for its sturdy, velvety structure.
Fresh produce and herbs were consistently part of my family’s culinary inventory when I was growing up. And to this day, the shelves on the door of my parents’ refrigerator are still habitually lined with feathery green dill, spiky rosemary, and thyme with its adorably tiny leaves.
It was no surprise when my dad rang several months back to report that he had fallen in love with this green goddess condiment. And if this one is new to you, I’m sure you’ll be swooning soon.
He stumbled upon it at a soup and sandwich chain and couldn’t get the bright, zippy flavors out of his head. It was only a matter of minutes before that phone conversation led to tasty trials and errors.
Luckily, we’re veterans in the homemade salad dressing game.
A store-bought vinaigrette was never a regular at our dinner table, not when we valued going the homemade route for a lot of our food. Instead: a glass Grey Poupon jar was repurposed as a shaking device for lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, and fresh basil.
Sometimes there was honey and balsamic. Other times, minced ginger and rice wine vinegar.
Today, I’m fully appreciative of my parents’ insistence in including fresh flavors in our meals – and one currently reigns supreme in their home.
Though we’ve designed this green goddess recipe as a dressing, keep in mind that a thicker mix makes a delectable dip or sandwich spread.
I may be a prodigy of playing the herbs, but once you’ve grasped how easy it is to whip up this recipe, you’ll be first chair to chives and mastering the melody of green goddess dressing in no time.Print
Made with grassy parsley and chives and brightened up by fruity champagne vinegar, this green goddess dressing is epic on everything.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest (from about 1/2 medium)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1 medium)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon capers, rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream*
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the lemon zest and juice, parsley, chives, cilantro, garlic, capers, champagne vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pulse until the herbs are finely chopped.
- Add the mayonnaise and sour cream. Continue pulsing until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and the dressing comes together.
- Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Leftovers may be stored for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
To make a dip, add additional sour cream 2 tablespoons at a time and pulse to combine until the mixture reaches your desired consistency.
- Prep Time: 10 mintues
- Category: Dressing
- Method: Food Processor
- Cuisine: Condiment
Keywords: green, goddess, dressing, dip, herbs
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Gather, Measure, and Prep Ingredients
Measure the mayo and sour cream.
If you prefer Greek yogurt, you can use that in place of the sour cream and/or mayo.
You can also choose to make your own mayonnaise from scratch.
Zest about half of a lemon and then juice the whole thing. Discard any seeds.
Chop the parsley, chives, and cilantro. Tender herbs – as opposed to woody ones like rosemary – are best for use in this recipe, so fresh dill or basil would also make nice additions if you have some on hand. You can either add 2 tablespoons of fresh dill or basil to this recipe, or substitute one or the other for the cilantro.
If you don’t have champagne vinegar on hand, you can swap in another type with light, fruity, floral qualities like white wine vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar.
Mince the garlic, rinse and drain the capers, and measure the champagne vinegar.
Grind and measure your salt and black pepper. Freshly ground black pepper will provide the best flavor in homemade dressings, dips, and sauces, as well as other recipes.
Step 2 – Pulse the Herbs and Other Aromatics
Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, chives, cilantro, garlic, capers, champagne vinegar, salt, and pepper to the bowl of a food processor or a high-speed blender. Pulse until the herbs are finely chopped.
Processing the herbs first with only a few additional ingredients before adding the thick sour cream and mayo helps to ensure that they’ll be chopped evenly/uniformly and dispersed throughout the mixutre.
Step 3 – Add the Creamy Ingredients, Blend, and Taste
Add the mayonnaise and sour cream to the food processor and pulse until the mixture has thickened and come together. It should be viscous and creamy, but runny enough to dress salad greens.
Are you planning to use this recipe as a dip? For a thicker texture, add more sour cream 2 tablespoons at a time, until the dip has thickened to your desired consistency. You don’t want the dip to be so thick that it breaks a cracker, but you also don’t want it to be so thin that it slips right off your crudite.
Season the mixture to taste with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
Transfer the dressing to an airtight container. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to come together.
Use it to dress a simple mixed greens salad with cucumbers and tomatoes or try our recipe for grilled salmon burgers. If you’re using it as a dip, serve with crackers, chips, and freshly sliced crudites like celery, carrots, cucumber, and bell peppers.
The dressing will also thicken slightly as it chills. Store leftovers for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Capturing That Creaminess
Feeling a little hesitant about including mayonnaise in a salad dressing? I promise you won’t end up with a gloppy consistency. When united with sour cream, which has a tangy taste and lighter texture, the partnership is wildly pleasing to the palate.
Subbing in plain Greek yogurt instead of the mayo (or in place of both) will up the protein content and add a nice tart touch. The eggs in mayo give the dressing a thicker, more viscous consistency that clings to a spoon, whereas Greek yogurt is dense yet airy.
Feel free to tinker with the creamy ingredients to your taste.
Will you decorate a salad or smear grilled salmon burgers with this dressing? Share how you glorify your green goddess in the comments below! And don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it.
Flat-leaf, Italian parsley is one of my favorite herbs. Since you already picked a bunch for this pretty green dressing, here are a few other recipes that give the fresh, peppery herb its time to shine:
Photos by Fanny, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Lori Jo Hendrix on July 13, 2016. Last updated on July 4, 2022.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Fanny Slater
Fanny Slater is a home-taught food enthusiast based in Wilmington, North Carolina who won the “Rachael Ray Show” Great American Cookbook Competition in 2014, and published her cookbook “Orange, Lavender & Figs” in 2016. Fanny is a food and beverage writer, recipe developer, and social media influencer. She was a co-host on the Food Network series “Kitchen Sink,” was featured on Cooking Channel’s longtime popular series “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and continues to appear regularly on the “Rachael Ray Show.”