Low fat green goddess dressing /

We’ve been Green Goddess obsessed over here. Virginia brought a little crock of this tangy, herby dressing home from a playdate at a friend’s house exclaiming, “this is the best dressing ever, mom.”

When a child has that sort of enthusiasm about anything related to vegetables, it’s smart to listen up. We promptly put it on our cooking “to do” list.

A few days later my friend Kim asked if she could come over to snap some pictures of me and the kids in the kitchen for a photo essay. Kim is a professional photographer (among other talents) who specializes in family and child photography. It seemed the perfect occasion to tackle Green Goddess.

We did a little research on the dressing and learned it actually hails from here in San Francisco, created in the 1920s by the Palace Hotel to honor an actor starring in a play called, you guessed it, Green Goddess.

Traditionally, the dressing is made with a variety of herbs, which are what give it the signature green hue. The version I share below, adapted from an Ina Garten recipe, relies largely on loads of fresh basil. If you know anything about Ina, you know she isn’t shy with fat, salt, or flavor, so I’ve lighten up her recipe, scaled back the sodium, and cut out the anchovies altogether since that can be a deal breaker for a lot of kids. It remains delicious nevertheless.

The dressing is excellent over salad, and is particularly well suited to the salads of summer, abundant as they are in tomatoes and cucumbers. Green Goddess is also tasty alongside tender new potatoes, spooned onto grilled fish, or tossed into chicken salad.

I thought I’d share a handful of Kim’s lovely photos from our afternoon in the kitchen. Virginia and her friend Nikou, who was visiting that day, did most of the heavy lifting, and gobbled up every bite of their beautiful work.








 Photos by Kimberly Koch (


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  1. Pamela
    07.18.2013 at 7:15 AM #


  2. 07.18.2013 at 12:43 PM #

    The dressing looks delish! I love the photos too…..and the friendship bracelets….sigh…..

    • katiemorford
      07.18.2013 at 9:16 PM #

      Thanks Kate. Yes….those bracelets …. on little hands speak volumes about what it means to be 10.

  3. 07.18.2013 at 8:43 PM #

    Thanks for the shout out, Kate. I had a great time at your house. And my take-home dressing was delicious! Great on salads, but also excellent as a dip for fresh cucumber slices.

  4. Kris
    07.21.2013 at 3:30 PM #

    Just made your dressing and it is wonderful! I have never made Green Goddess dressing before, was I ever missing out. Divvied it up in mason jars to share with a couple of friends tonight, as I shouldn’t eat all of it in the next three days. Thanks!

    • katiemorford
      07.22.2013 at 7:10 AM #

      Glad you like it Kris and so sweet to share. I cut the original recipe in half, but it does still make quite a generous amount.

  5. 02.26.2014 at 12:57 PM #

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