Green Goddess dressing back on the menu
This column originally published on Aug. 12, 2015.
By Don Mauer
Daily Herald Correspondent
What's your favorite salad dressing?
What? I didn't hear: "Green Goddess."
Try searching for a Green Goddess salad dressing recipe and you'll find nearly as many variations as a chili or meatloaf recipe. Yet, I'll guess that you've never had it and, perhaps, not even heard of it.
If ranch dressing's your favorite, you're not alone because, right now, it's the most popular of all salad dressings, especially if you count such variations as avocado ranch, cucumber ranch, sweet chili ranch, roasted garlic ranch and the newest chipotle ranch according to Chicago's The NPD Group's SupplyTrack, a global information company.
Ranch is a tasty salad dressing; no doubt, but its popularity may be based more on marketing and promotion than true flavor preference. Think Hidden Valley's commercial with teens racing to win a salad eating contest.
Yeah, that's gonna happen. Not.
Second most popular salad dressing in 2014, as determined by shipments to national food service operations: blue cheese. That appears to have shifted from 2010 when another survey, as reported on the Food Channel website, showed vinaigrette and Caesar dressings were numbers two and three, respectively, after ranch.
I have a long history with making my own salad dressings and mayonnaise from scratch. I steer clear of soybean and canola oils due to their GMO origins, which got me started making my own organic olive oil-based mayonnaise (food processors make that a snap).
I also started experimenting with different vinegars
in homemade vinaigrettes; splurging on wine specific vinegars like champagne or cabernet vinegar. If you haven't made a vinaigrette with sherry vinegar, you're missing something special.
Two weeks ago I came across two Green Goddess salad dressing recipes. One was more than 50 years old and used mayonnaise as its base. The other came from Food52's website and made great use of half a ripe, fresh avocado. The dressing picture I saw glowed a beautiful shade of green; amplifying the green of Green Goddess.
It seems that Green Goddess dressing first appeared (about the same time as Caesar salad) more than 90 years ago at San Francisco's Palace Hotel as a tribute by the hotel chef to a play running in the city titled, not surprisingly: "The Green Goddess."
Avocados, in the newer Green Goddess salad dressing recipe, are healthy and good for me. Yes, avocados are long on fat, but that fat's monounsaturated, which is believed to be a very healthy fat.
Green Goddess and Ceasar dressings have two matching ingredients beyond olive oil: fresh garlic and anchovies. This summer I found some locally-grown, very fresh garlic that made a flavor difference (it was s-t-r-o-n-g) to everything I tried it in, including my Green Goddess dressing.
The umami powerhouse, anchovies, kicks this dressing's flavor profile up a notch (without it being fishy). In fact, I used the oil from the anchovy tin with regular olive oil for this dressing.
Hard to believe this dressing's been hiding in plain sight for so long. Look out ranch, there's a Goddess chasing your number one position.
See what you think, will this dressing become a favorite of yours?
• Don Mauer welcomes questions, comments and recipe makeover requests. Write to him at don@ theleanwizard.com.