Friday, March 16, 2018

Backyard weed Green Goddess dressing with Greek yogurt. Gluten free, keto, made with cleavers and henbit.

A healthier take on green goddess dressing. This swaps greek yogurt for mayonnaise, and add in some of the earliest, freshest, wild green herbs of spring. 

I don't know why it never occurred to me before, to make a dressing using edible weeds. It seems like such a simple, obvious idea; but then sometimes its harder to think of the simple stuff, right?

A green goddess dressing seemed like the perfect homage to spring. In name, anyway.

The original "green goddess" dressing dates from the early 1920s, and was named for a famous play, not because of it's use of natural, fresh spring ingredients. In fact, the original green goddess dressing is none too healthy, being mostly mayonnaise thinned out with a little vinegar, and given the barest green tint with a few herbs.

This version remedies that by removing the mayo, adding in greek yogurt, and kicking up the herbs to be the major ingredient, rather than just a flavoring. Plus, I used wild foraged herbs, ones that you can most likely find in your own backyard.

Henbit can easily take over an entire field, turning it to soft purple. I love it for it's abundant growth (great for sustainability) and for it's strong, herbal flavor. 

I chose to use cleavers, (Galium aparine) and henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) because they both have such strong, herbal flavors. There's also a TON of garlic in this dressing, so it packs a ton of flavor.  If you don't love garlic as much as I do, cut my amount by half.

Any strongly flavored wild herb would probably do well in this dressing, like creeping charlie, wood sorrel, lemon balm, bergamot/bee balm, speedwell or goldenrod (later in the year). Or if you like milder flavors you could try nettles or docks.

 Veggie burgers: it's what for din. . .I mean lunch. 
Both cleavers and henbit are invasive species from Eurasia, though they have become more or less naturalized here in North America; their status as invasive species makes them excellent for sustainablity.

I've been enjoying this dressing on EVERYTHING this week: salads, meat, and it's versatile enough to double as a dip (really good for cucumber slices and crudités).

I made it in tandem with these chickpea and curly dock burgers that I posted the other day and they've been a great, quick lunch to heat up as needed. 

Cleavers are one of the most robustly-flavored wild herbs you can gather. 

Green goddess dressing made with greek yogurt and backyard weeds

Makes about 3 cups, can be halved. Total time: >10 minutes.

3 cups of packed cleavers
2 cups of packed henbit
10.5 oz. plain, unsweetened, fat-free greek yogurt (2 individual-size servings)
4-5 bulbs of wild garlic, or 4-5 cloves of cultivated garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
juice of half a lemon
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper.
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling, add in your cleavers and boil for about 2 minutes, stirring regularly.  Add in your henbit and blanch for another minute. Drain.
  2. Working in batches if needed, add your cooked greens and all other ingredients to a food processor. 
  3. Dressing will keep in the fridge for 5 days. Remember to store in glass, not plastic or metal. 


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. It`s sounds like it`s not only tasty additionally it`s less work than I thought so worth to try.

    1. Yes! I am the queen of recipies that don't take a whole lot of effort, lol!