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Mar 6, 2022

Little Green Dress Sauce

This Little Green Dress Sauce, made with so many lovely green ingredients, will make any dish more delicious.  

Little Green Dress Sauce in a bowl.

This Little Green Dress Sauce, with its combination of flavorful salty and herby ingredients, is sort of like a chimichurri sauce, and includes lots of parsley and fresh mint, yet it is a bit more briny because it includes olives and capers. 

This little green dress sauce is the creation of Vivian Howard of the PBS series, A Chef's Life, and the author of the award winning cookbook, Deep Run Roots. It is a compilation of recipes honoring her home in eastern North Carolina. One of my favorite recipes in the book is the sweet potato bread

This sauce appears in her newest and second book, This Will Make it Taste Good. The book is divided into chapters based on Vivian's 10 "hero" sauces, including this Little Green Dress sauce. 

Little Green Dress Sauce and ranch dressing.

After each "hero" recipe chapter, the book includes several quick uses for each sauce along with more in-depth recipes for including the hero sauce. In the case of this Little Green Dress sauce, Vivian suggests using it on salads, in eggs or omelettes, on steak, for topping soups, mixing into taco meat, on pizza, in egg, tuna, or potato salad, and in vinaigrettes. 

I actually mixed it into deviled eggs and they were swoon-worthy. 

For the in-depth recipes that include this sauce, my favorite "must make asap recipes" include the mussels, the gas station biscuits (with the LGD stuffed in the middle with cheese), and the corn and tomato dish. 

Ingredients in Little Green Dress Sauce:

This sauce is a mixture of shallots, garlic, red wine vinegar, Castelvetrano olives, capers, anchovies, parsley, mint, lemon juice and zest, hot sauce, salt, and olive oil. 

You mix it all in a small food processor

The ingredient list can be very flexible and you can substitute for various ingredients. For example, I only had about half of the Castelvetrano olives so I added some Spanish olives that I had in my refrigerator. 

If you have sherry or champagne vinegar, give that a try instead of the red wine vinegar. 

You can also substitute other herbs, but just be sure they are fresh. Dry herbs will not work in this recipe. 

For the hot sauce, I used Tapatio, which is a hot sauce every self-respecting California Mexican food lover keeps a supply of. You can also use Tabasco, Sriracha, or whatever hot sauce you have on hand. Choose your regional favorite. 

If you don't want to add anchovies, you can skip them... although... I highly recommend giving them a try. I promise, you might just like this sauce with anchovies in it. After all, there are anchovies in Worcestershire sauce. In fact, I added an extra anchovy to the recipe. 

Little Green Dress sauce dressing with a romaine salad.

My favorite way, so far, to use this little green dress sauce is in an amazing Ranch Dressing from the book. The dressing is a mixture of a cup of mayonnaise, a half cup of sour cream, a half cup of buttermilk, a bit of sugar and hot sauce, and a good half cup of Little Green Dress sauce. 

Let the ingredients sit for a while at room temperature so that everything gets all comfy together. 

This dressing is amazing. I've been making chicken wings specifically to dip in this dressing. I've also had more than my share of romaine salads just so I can have this dressing. I can't get enough of it. 

Little Green Dress Sauce ranch dressing with a salad.

Drop some of this dressing on a burger or a steak and you will be very happy. 

The ranch dressing will last about two weeks in your refrigerator (although you'll probably finish it sooner because it is so delicious). 

The Little Green Dress Sauce will keep in your refrigerator for up to four weeks as long as all of the herbs are covered with olive oil. To use any saved sauce, portion out the the amount you need and bring it to room temperature. 

Why the Name, Little Green Dress? A Little Trivia: 

I am assuming this is in reference to the Little Black Dress, or the "LBD." 

The little black dress is a dress that is knee-length (depending on the decade) and that will work for any occasion. At one point in the twentieth century, the little black dress was considered essential to have in your closet, to be dressed up or down for whatever event you were attending. 

Little black dresses were considered elegant, appropriate, safe for any occasion, and affordable. 

Coco Chanel is given credit for creating the concept. I do remember being advised to own one, and that even inexpensive fabrics always looked good in black if not in colors. You could dress it up with jewelry and fancy shoes, or dress it more professionally for work with a blazer and pumps... the perfect day-to-evening dress. I know I always had one. 

Interpretated loosely, this little green dress sauce is the answer when you need something tasteful and perfect for any occasion! 

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Little Green Dress Sauce in a bowl.

Little Green Dress Sauce

Little Green Dress Sauce
Yield: 40 tablespoons approximately
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 30 MinInactive time: 30 MinTotal time: 1 Hour
This Little Green Dress Sauce, made with so many lovely green ingredients, will make any dish more delicious.


  • 2 medium shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup pitted Castelvetrano olives, drained
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
  • 3 oil-packed flat anchovy filets
  • 1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems (about one bunch)
  • 1 ounce fresh mint (about 1/2 cup packed)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest of one lemon plus 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Add the shallots and garlic to the bowl of a mini food processor and process until minced. Transfer them to a small bowl and add the red wine vinegar. Let the mixture sit for at least 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the sauce.
  2. Add the olives capers, and anchovies to the mini food processor and pulse until minced. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
  3. Add the leaves and small stems of the parsley and mint to the mini food processor and pulse until minced. Add the mixture to the bowl with the olives and capers.
  4. Add the shallot and garlic mixture, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, hot sauce, and salt to the medium bowl and stir everything together. Let sit for 30 minutes before using.

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Little Green dress
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  1. I love that olives and anchovies are in here. Very different

  2. Wow! This sounds so good and versatile!

  3. Well I love chimichurri as well as olives, capers and anschovies. Great use in "ranch" dressing, which I normally think has no flavor! Count me in!

    1. The "ranch" is so totally flavorful! So worth it!

  4. I love the name of this sauce-- it is so pretty and I'm sure crazy flavorful!

  5. I love the name! I also can't wait to make this and add it to deviled eggs!

  6. Yummy! This is bursting with flavors! Olives, capers, and herbs the flavors and can't wait to try this recipe.


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