Created in honor of actor George Arliss, who was appearing in a play called The Green Goddess, written by William Archer, green goddess dressing was introduced during the 1920s by the chef at San Francisco’s Palace Hotel (where Arliss was staying). Arliss was later nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in the film version but lost out to himself, for his role as Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.
Thick, creamy, herby, and decidedly old-fashioned, this dip was inspired by Boston chef Stan Frankenthaler’s green goddess salad dressing. Also try it on grilled, broiled, or steamed fish.
Makes about 1 cup.
1 garlic clove, sliced
2 to 3 oil-packed anchovy fillets, to your taste
1 tablespoon capers, drained
½ cup spinach leaves, washed well and patted dry
2 scallions (white and green parts)
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
2 springs fresh tarragon
¼ cup sour cream or Yogurt Cheese
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional)
1. Place the garlic, anchovies, capers, spinach, scallions, parsley, and tarragon in a blender or food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth. Add the sour cream and blend again until smooth. Stir in the mayonnaise and pepper, if desired, and mix to combine.
2. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately, garnished with parsley leaves, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
This is splendid with something slightly bitter like endive, but almost any vegetable works, especially lightly steamed asparagus spears or baby artichokes.
From Party Dips! 50 Zippy, Zesty, Spicy, Savory, Tasty, Tempting Dips (The Harvard Common Press, 2004)