Green Goddess salad dressing was created by the chef at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in honor of George Arliss, the stage actor who was staying there during the run of William Archer’s play of that name.
It also capitalized on the release of the silent movie version of the play in that year (the movie was remade as a talkie in 1930). As far as I can tell, it is sort of a 1920s version of the Beatles’ Help! (1965), complete with politically incorrect South Asian stereotyping and the possibility that the British characters will be sacrificed to appease an angry goddess. Well, OK, otherwise it is different. The George Arliss production doesn’t have all those Lennon-McCartney songs, for one thing.
A few other things were named for Archer’s play, including the beautiful 1927 locomotive on the Romney, Dymchurch & Hythe steam railway at Tentenden, Kent, England.
I also have some recipes for Green Goddess dressing that will appease anyone at your dinner table – just in case you happen to have an angry goddess on the guest list. There was a commercially bottled version made by Seven Seas in the early 1970s. I remember seeing that. My mother never got it. I thought that it had something to do with the fondness for avocado green in decorating, actually.
GREEN GODDESS MAYONNAISE
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 Tb finely chopped anchoveis or anchovy paste
3 Tb finely chopped chives or green onions
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup thick sour cream
1 Tb lemon juice
1 Tb tarragon vinegar
dash of salt, dash of finely ground pepper
[Combine, presumably. Marye did not say, but we can all figure this out!]
–from Marye Dahnke’s Salad Book (New York: Pocket Books, 1954, reprinted 1965), p. 41
And from the Red Lion Room at the Holiday Inn at Bismarck, North Dakota (circa 1972) – whose “continental cuisine is outstanding” -
GREEN GODDESS DRESSING
1/4 cup parsley, minced
1/4 cup onion, minced
3 to 4 onion tops, minced
2 Tb cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups mayonnaise
8 oz. sour cream
1 dash green food coloring
Mix all ingredients together and let stand in refrigerator for a short time before serving. Makes approximately 3 cups.
–from the Holiday Inn International Cook and Travel Book, ed. Ruth Malone (Holiday Inns, Inc. 7th ed. 1972), p. 230.
Yum, green food coloring! Actually, this sounds great, if you use fresh garlic (or roasted garlic maybe), cut down on the mayo, and leave out the, um, food coloring. The hungry goddesses at your table will thank you, and come back for seconds.
Serve them a good dessert as well, and they will be too content (and full) to be angry!
Image is from the theatre program I mentioned in the last post, from the Booth Theater in New York. My grandparents saw the play there in April 1921. Note snazzy Egyptian cigarette ad at the bottom of the page.