Buttermilk Green Goddess Dressing


A classic of the West Coast, this dressing was created in the 1920s by San Francisco’s Palace Hotel in honor of a play by the same name. With buttermilk standing in for sour cream, my “Southern” version is light, tangy, and chock-full of green herbs. It’s the quintessential spring and summer dressing, and because it’s all about using the freshest herbs—whether dill, chervil, sorrel, or cilantro—I almost never make it the same way twice. Use it alongside my Crispy Chicken Cutlets with a Heap of Spring Salad.


½ cup well-shaken buttermilk
¼ cup your favorite or Homemade Mayonnaise
1 small Kirby cucumber, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Juice of ½ lime
4 or 5 fresh basil or celery leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the buttermilk, mayonnaise, cucumber, chives, tarragon, mustard, lime juice, and basil in a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use, or for up to 1 week.

SARA’S SWAPS Think of this dressing as a backdrop for whatever herbs and light greens are in season. Herbs like dill, oregano, marjoram, thyme, and parsley add personality and flavor while spinach add a pop of green; peppery arugula and water-cress add delicate heat; lemony sorrel is refreshingly tart. To make an even lighter version, substitute plain low-fat yogurt for the mayonnaise.