The first time I recall seeing green goddess, an herby, green-tinted salad dressing, on a local restaurant menu was at Steuben’s, shortly before the eatery opened in 2006. The old-school condiment has a storied history: It’s said that in the 1970s, Seven Seas was the first to bottle the dressing that was made famous in the 1920s by San Francisco’s Palace Hotel. It’s a sauce that speaks of Americana. “It’s the original ranch dressing,” TAG chef Troy Guard says. “Before Hidden Valley came along, your mom made green goddess.” Like many other comfort foods, the mayo-based dressing is making a comeback. (You know this is the case when Bon Appétit includes a recipe for a green goddess and pistachio cheese ball in its September issue.)
Though the condiment no longer appears on Steuben’s menu, it can be found elsewhere. This summer, the dressing accompanied Old Major‘s salad of beans, new potatoes, pistachios, cherry tomatoes, frisée, and shaved carrots. (In fact, chef Justin Brunson‘s recipe for the sauce is included in 5280‘s forthcoming cookbook). The green vinaigrette also dressed a seared romaine salad at Lower48 Kitchen and a salmon entrée with a cherry, serrano, and fennel slaw at Tables. Sunnyside Burger Bar serves green goddess as a dip for its crudités platter—and it can be ordered as a side for the fried pickles or onion rings.
The reason for the sudden upswing? Guard reasons it’s the herbs: “It’s pretty popular among chefs since it generally has a bunch of fresh herbs,” he explains. “We use tarragon and parsley in our version at Sunnyside but I’ve had others that use chives, oregano, thyme, or even mint.”
Match a batch before putting your garden away for the winter. You’ll be glad you did.
—Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Burger Bar