Lemon Dressing

41 Comments

Typically, I don’t have the television on while I’m cooking. In fact, it’s pretty much always music playing in the background. That is, unless my husband has entered the kitchen and then the tv is on. He doesn’t care what’s on – it’s just for the noise. I guess I’m not noisy enough!

So one morning, and forgive me for this, the Rachael Ray show was on. (I’m not a fan.) She had Carla Hall on for a cooking segment, which only caught my attention because I’d seen her compete in Top Chef.

So I was really only watching with one eye, so to speak, but I saw Carla do something that I knew I would do eventually.

We’ve all combined citrus juices with olive oil and made dressings; I especially love them on salads made primarily of grains. But here is the thing. Carla put the WHOLE lemon into a blender for her dressing. I quit watching after that, so I’m extrapolating the end result. Here goes.

Lemon Dressing

1 clean, organic lemon
Olive oil
Salt, to taste
Salad of your choice
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To make the dressing, trim the lemon ends and quarter it.
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Place the pieces in a blender or food processor. Blend away until you can’t.
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Add about 1/2 cup of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt, and reblend the mixture.
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Strain the dressing through a fine strainer into a medium bowl. (I don’t know if Carla did this but I felt it was necessary.) What you’re left with is a thickened emulsified lemon dressing.

I thought about using orange-infused oil in this dressing, but I decided that would defeat the whole purpose of testing the whole lemon aspect of it. I also refrained from using a little garlic.
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I chose a salad of greens with avocado and raspberries so the dressing could really shine. Plus a little chunk of Parmesan.

I’m not even that much of a lemon freak, but this dressing is superb. It’s powerfully lemon, but not tart or bitter like you’d think.
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I’m definitely making this again. Next time I’ll add some toasted walnuts and crumbled goat cheese!
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41 thoughts on “Lemon Dressing

  1. I’ve seen Mario Batali (I am almost sure it was him) doing that as a marinade for chicken. I was never able to retrieve the recipe, in fact for a while I thought I had dreamed the whole thing…

    but it’s brilliant, I intend to go that route with you… ;-)

    actually, I have a dressing on my blog that calls for roasting a lemon… I bet using the whole thing instead of just the juice would be awesome

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  2. That sounds like a very nice dressing but I’m really enjoying looking at that salad. Right now it’s hitting me just right! Walnuts & goat cheese would be awesome too.
    Btw – I love those forks you have in the last photo – very cute.

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  3. That’s a lovely salad. I love the addition of raspberries; they give beautiful colour. I have made a lot of salad dressing with lemon but I have never put an entire lemon into the blender. I would have thought it would make the dressing too bitter. I will try this xx

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  4. Wow — ‘Who’d Thunk It?” !! I love your idea of adding walnuts – and I love your choice of raspberries, avocado & Parmesan!!!!! Oh yeah – pinning it!!!

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  5. I think I’ll have to give this a whirl. The whole lemon IS intriguing. I bet a little of this would be good drizzled on salmon too. Great photographs Mimi – your salad looks wonderful and I LOVE your plates.

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