5 Ingredients | 30 Minutes | This is a unique spin on a green goddess salad dressing, and is made with poached garlic and fresh herbs. It's perfect for summertime salads, and a great way to use your herbs! It can be made vegan or vegetarian to your preference.
Has anyone else been craving a hearty salad recently? Yeah, same. Springtime typically means that I'm over eager to buy all the fresh herbs I can, and after a few days, I'm usually trying to figure out creative ways to use them up before they go stale. If you're in the same boat, just trust me - this salad dressing will carry you through until it's summer time.
🥗 What is Green Goddess Salad Dressing made of?
The traditional green goddess salad dressing made with mayonnaise, sour cream, chervil, chives, anchovy, tarragon, lemon juice, and pepper. Panera has a version of this dressing which was made with parsley, watercress, tarragon, chives, garlic, lemon juice, oil, vinegar and mayonnaise. So, really, it's bunch of a herbs, vinegar and some creamy action.
My version of this dressing can be made either vegan or vegetarian, and has a secret element to it: poached garlic (i.e. garlic confit). I use fresh herbs, typically parsley, along with fresh lemon juice, confit garlic, and pecorino cheese (substitute with tahini for vegan version). The confit garlic takes about 25 minutes on stove top; however, you can use this time to prep the other components of the salad. Trust me, it's worth it!
You take all those ingredients, throw into a food processor and pulse until you get the desired consistency. You could also use a blender, but depending on the size of your blender, you might need to scale up the proportion to meet the minimum liquid requirement (my Vitamix needs 2x this recipe).
Besides the vegan and vegetarian variations described above, there are tons of ways in which you can customize this green salad dressing.
My recipe uses about a cup of fresh herbs, notably parsley. However, you can use more than just parsley or substitute with what you you have on hand quite easily. I've outlined a couple of options below:
Fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, dill and mint: These flavor profiles all mesh with parsley quite easily, or you can use any of them separately too, depending on what flavors you prefer (e.g. if cilantro tastes like soap to you, you can totally leave 'em out). I've personally tried this recipe with just parsley, parsley and cilantro, basil and parsley, and all of the above. Each time, it was unique. Each time, it was delicious. So get creative!
Fresh green aromatics like scallions, chives, or jalapenos: Though I wouldn't recommend just using these aromatics, they can definitely add a pop of flavor to your salad dressing. To avoid having them overpower the dressing, I suggest limiting this to maybe 1-2 of each.
The creamy component: the vegan version of my recipe uses tahini, while the vegetarian version uses pecorino Romano cheese (and this is inspired by a beloved restaurant in Seattle - check out my Il Corvo inspired kale salad recipe with this dressing). You could use fresh avocados (or add them along with tahini). I've also seen Greek yogurt (or mayonnaise) being used as well. So, really, pick whatever you have easily available.
You'll see that I don't use tarragon in my dressing though that is more traditional. I am not a huge fan of the licorice like flavors, but if you love tarragon, you can totally add them into the mix!
♨️ What’s confit garlic? How do you poach garlic?
Garlic confit is a play on duck confit (i.e. cooking duck in it’s own fat). So, it's really just garlic cooked in olive oil. For this dressing, I poach the garlic in olive oil, and then use the garlic bulbs and some olive oil in the dressing.
And the infused olive oil is an insanely versatile dressing on it’s own. When garlic is in season in the summer, I make a large batch of this, and then serve it on EVERYTHING. You can also use the oil for roasting or sauteing like you would normally use olive oil and then, mash up the garlic and use it as a spread or dressing. So, really the options are endless.
🍴 Serving suggestions & storage
This salad dressing is so, so versatile. I've listed three of my favorite ways to consume it, but seriously, you can add it to almost anything.
- Salad dressing, amirite? I have two salads that use this dressing - one is a kale salad inspired by Il Corvo, with pepitas and pecorino; and another is a vibrant summer salad with spinach, avocados, and radish.
- On tacos: Every time I make my gochujang cauliflower tacos, I'm so tempted to drizzle some of this dressing on top. The spicy-umami flavors of gochujang pair so well with the herby notes of this dressing.
- As a dip: Most Indian snacks use a mint chutney, but I use this dressing. Try it next time you make my healthy baked samosas, or cabbage and jalapeno fritters. You won't regret it.
You can store the dressing in an airtight container (e.g. mason jar) in the fridge for a week (~5-7 days). If you made extra poached garlic (hey, I don't blame you) - just peel them, and store them covered in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. The infused olive oil stays good for a couple of weeks as well. Totally worth the 30 minutes of your time.
Green Goddess Dip
For garlic confit
- 8 cloves
- ½ cup olive oil, or enough to cover the garlic in a small saucepan
For the green goddess salad dressing:
- 1 cup fresh parsley, heaped high
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or apple cider / white wine vinegar
- 1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, sub 2 tablespoons of tahini or 1-2 avocados for vegan versions; can also use Parmesan
Prepare Garlic Confit
- Remove the root and smash a garlic head with the back of your knife to release the cloves. Peel them (either by smashing them again with the back of your knife to loosen the skin) or if the garlic cloves are older, drop them in a closed jar and shake vigorously until the skin comes off.
- Stovetop method: Add 8 garlic cloves and half a cup of olive oil to a small sauce pan (the smallest you can find) and cook on low flame for about 30 to 45 minutes until the garlic is soft (but not overly brown!)Oven method: Add 8 garlic cloves and half a cup of olive to a small oven safe container (e.g. a mini cocotte) and roast at 250F for 1-2 hours
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the garlic cloves to the food processor. Then, add parsley and the grated Pecorino Romano cheese and pulse to combine into a coarse pesto like consistency. Finally, add the olive oil slowly and pulse until you get to a dip-like consistency.
- Drizzle with lemon juice right before serving. Store excess in an airtight container and use for everything!
- I always make more garlic confit than this recipe requires and just store the extra in a separate airtight container. Just make sure to use enough olive oil to cover the garlic in a layer of oil.
- The dip does not include salt and pepper. I've found that adding salt and pepper directly to the salad works better for me, depending on what ingredients you use in your salad. This dressing goes great with fresh cracked black pepper!
- Pecorino cheese typically uses rennet - I found a local vegetarian version from Sardegna, but if you want to stay vegetarian, and can't find Pecorino without rennet, use vegetarian Parmesan instead!
- Check the post for more details on how you can substitute various herbs and cream components or add aromatics to make this even more delicious!