It took me a long time to post this Green Goddess Crudites board because the Castelveltrano olives are in a spot that doesn't balance the board. The olives should sit diagonal and across from the other green, pickled things on the board, the cornichons on the bottom, just right of center.
It bothers me so much I was going to re-do the board, but then we were all sent into quarantine and could only eat canned beans and sourdough bread.
This isn't so much a recipe, as it is a list of ingredients with resources, and links to recipes for dips if they're needed. The recipe for the Green Goddess Dip is included here.
What is Green Goddess?
So what exactly is Green Goddess? Can you just make a dish all green and call it "green goddess?" As I've been doing with everything ever since I made a Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Sandwich 10 years ago...?
Original Green Goddess
Green Goddess actually IS its own thing, notably a thick, sour cream- and mayonnaise-based salad dressing that can double as a dip because of its consistency. Legend has it that a chef at San Francisco's Palace Hotel created the dressing in 1923 to pay tribute to a play titled The Green Goddess.
The classic ingredients include chervil, which is a type of parsley, chives, scallions, and tarragon, a soft summer herbs that has a light licorice flavor.
Since then, the name "Green Goddess" has been appropriated by any and everyone to label any creamy, green mixture that can include anything from avocado to spinach. Don't get me wrong. I ain't mad at it. I do it myself.
More Ways to Get Into Green Goddess
Can you tell I'm a little obsessed with Green Goddess? Try these recipes:
- Avocado and Lobster Cobb Salad with Avocado Green Goddess
- Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- which uses...Green Goddess Herb Pesto
- which you can also use on...Green Goddess Bagel
Modern Green Goddess
In my modern version of Green Goddess, I make a few edits partially for ease, but mostly for taste preference.
I switched out the traditional mayonnaise and sour cream for protein- and probiotic-rich yogurt.
A couple of the herbs also get switched out. Chervil is not at all easy to find, and is very easily replaced by the much more readily available parsley.
Tarragon is specifically a summer herb, and is not as easy to find as, say, basil. And though I personally LOVE the flavor of black licorice, the licorice flavor of tarragon can be a little intense or too unfamiliar in a vegetable dip that you're serving to other people.
What Ingredients You Need for Green Goddess Dip
- Olive oil
Of course you will need some good sea salt for taste, and black pepper if you'd like.
Ingredients Notes and Shopping Resources for Green Goddess Dip
- Parsley. I use Italian flat leaf parsley for all dishes. If you only have the curly parsley available to you, that works!
- Yogurt: traditionally, Green Goddess includes sour cream as the creamy component in the recipe, but I prefer yogurt. Greek yogurt has a similar texture and tang to sour cream, with the added benefit of gut-health support. I buy whatever yogurt is organic and affordable.
- Olive Oil: If you have one olive oil in your house, by all means use it. However, if you have a choice, use the olive oil with the mildest flavor. You can look for one that is labeled "light." Extra-virgin olive oil might be too expensive to use in a salad in which it will be competing with other strong flavors (fresh garlic, raw onions, vinegar pickled vegetables, hot and spicy peppers). I use this $10-$15 grocery store olive oil as my everyday olive oil. I use Brightland as my "special" i.e. served by itself with bread or drizzled over a caprese.
- Anchovies: This is my favorite brand of anchovies for almost everything. However, they are kind of expensive for a tiny jar. I ALWAYS RECOMMEND anchovies in jars rather than in tins so you can close with a lid and store in the refrigerator. Because the anchovies are going into the Green Goddess Dip that has a lot of other strong flavors, you can get away with more affordable anchovies, like these (which I use in cases like this). When making Anchovy Vinaigrette, though, the anchovies are the star ingredients, so splurge on the better anchovies.
- All other fresh herbs and produce from either the Santa Monica Farmers' Market on Wednesday, or Whole Foods Market when I can't find what I need at the farmers' market.
Substitutions and Variations for Green Goddess Dip
Like most dips and dressings, Green Goddess is fairly flexible with substitutions to fit taste preferences and dietary needs.
- Other green herbs for parsley and basil. Parsley makes up the majority of the green herbs in this recipe, but you can substitute any green like baby spinach or even kale. If you use kale, use the bright green curly kind and blanch it in boiling water a few times to brighten the color as well as tenderize the leaves.
- Scallions for chives. You can use the green partof green onions or scallions in place of chives.
- Avocado oil or other neutral oil for olive oil. I like using olive oil whenever I can for its health benefits. If you prefer something milder, try Avocado Oil.
- Anchovies. The original Green Goddess contained anchovies, and this modern version does as well. You can't taste the anchovy at all, but they anchovy adds both salt and umami to the bright herbal flavor from the other ingredients. You can leave the anchovies out, just add ¼ teaspoon more salt to the recipe.
What Vegetables You Need for Green Goddess Crudités
Essentially, you will get all the green vegetables you can, cut them into dippable size, and serve with the Green Goddess Dip and maybe a few other dips.
Use this Comprehensive Guide for How to Prep Crudites, beyond just washing and peeling. The Guide explains which vegetables are better with a "flash-blanch" and how to do that, how to really clean certain types of vegetables, and the different ways you can slice and present them on a platter.
Vegetable Crudités Notes and Resources
Here is a list of the vegetables and other ingredients on the Crudites platter pictured here:
- Asparagus, broccoli, celery and cucumber
- Some slightly more interesting: romanesco, green cauliflower, and fennel.
- Little Gem Lettuce: Little Gem Lettuces are their own variety of romaine-like lettuce; they are not baby romaine. I get my Little Gems from The Garden Of farm at the Santa Monica Farmers Market, but have seen them at smaller grocery stores like Bristol Farms and Erewhon (Los Angeles). Little Gems are not super easy to find, so you can use the smaller, inside leaves of the heart of regular Romaine lettuce.
- Endive: Endive is a spear-shaped chicory. They are available at Whole Foods, and I have seen them in packages of red and white (yellow) combined in a package at other grocery stores. Yellow/white endive naturally turns green when it sits out in sunshine and are fine to eat, obviously.
- Persian Cucumbers: Organic Persian cucumbers in packages are available year-round in grocery stores. They are available at farmers markets mid- through late summer.
- Green Honeydew Radish: I have only seen these green-tinged radishes from Weiser Farms at Santa Monica Farmers Market. If you can't find them, use white regular round radishes with the greens attached.
- Small Avocados: In the summer, I get the teeny tiny avocados from JJ's Lone Daughter Ranch. In the off-season, small avocados are available at Whole Foods.
- Snap Peas: Organic, in plastic packages at Whole Foods year-round, but through the spring, you can find them at the farmers' market with their little green blossom and stems attached, sometimes with their shoots.
Additional Ingredients that Aren't Crudités
- Green Tortilla Chips: This organic brand is naturally green because they're made from spinach and kale. No, they do not taste as crisp or crunchy as regular tortilla chips. They taste like spinach and kale tortilla chips.
- Castelveltrano Olives are medium-sized, bright green olives that are mild in taste. They are sold bulk in the Olive Bar, where we're never going again after this pandemic or in jars in the same aisle where regular olives and other pickled vegetables are. Substitute any favorite green olive.
Tools and Equipment
- best large size cutting board to serve the Crudites
- if you don't have a board, use a sturdy all-purpose baking sheet
- favorite all-purpose 7-inch chef's knife (expensive but worth it!)
- favorite multi-purpose small condiment bowls for dressings
- I have a gajillion of these tiny spoons for dips, dressings and spreads on boards
- salad spinner to wash and prep veges
- this produce/vege wash to clean produce
Green Goddess for Crudités Recipe
Green Goddess Dip
- 1 clove garlic very finely minced and smashed with ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 anchovies smashed into a paste
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
- ¼ cup mild olive oil
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives or green onions
Fresh Vegetable Crudités for Dipping
- 2 heavy Little Gem lettuce heads cut lengthwise into sixths or about a dozen romaine heart leaves
- 2 endive heads leaves separated
- 2 Persian cucumbers cut into 3-inch long spears
- 4 green honeydew radish cut lengthwise into quarters
- 4 small avocados cut length-wise into eighths
- 1 cup sugar snap peas
- 1 fennel bulb sliced into ¼-inch wide sticks, or celery
Cooked Vegetables for Dipping
- 8-10 asparagus spears flash-blanched, cooled, and cut into 3-inch length
- 1 bunch baby broccoli flash blanched and trimmed of tough ends
- 1 dozen green beans flash blanched
- small head Romanesco or green cauliflower broken into florets
Pickled Vegetables and Other Things to Dip
- ½ cup Castelveltrano olives
- ½ cup cornichons
- handful of green tortilla chips
Optional Additional Dips
- 1 Yogurt Ranch
- 1 Avocado Hummus
- 1 White Bean Rosemary Dip
Make the Green Goddess Dip:
- In a food processor, combine the garlic, anchovy, lemon juice, and salt. Slowly add in olive oil a few drops at a time to emulsify. You are essentially making a type of aioli (mayonnaise without raw egg).
- Add yogurt, and chopped herbs and process until smooth. Taste for seasoning, and adjust salt, pepper and lemon juice as needed. Cover and chill in refrigerator while you prep the remaining ingredients for the Platter. You can keep prepared Green Goddess Dip in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for three days.
Assemble the Board:
- Place small bowls with dips on the platter or board near the edges or corners.
- Arrange lettuce wedges, endive leaves, cucumbers, radish, avocados, sugar snap peas, fennel, olives, cornichons, tortilla chips, asparagus spears, broccoli, green beans on a large cutting board, cheeseboard, tray, or platter.
- Garnish with oregano, fresh basil, and chopped fresh parsley if using.