Whole Lemon Dressing


Typically, I don’t have the television on while I’m cooking. In fact, I typically listen to my favorite music playlists. That is, unless my husband is in the kitchen first. He will invariably, mindlessly, turn on the tv. Which is what happened one morning a few years ago.

The Rachael Ray show was on, and I’m not a fan, but I was too busy to change channels. 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 only watching with one eye, so to speak, but I saw Carla do something interesting.

We’ve all combined citrus juices with olive oil and made dressings. But here is the thing. Carla put the WHOLE lemon into a blender for her dressing.

Here’s what I did to replicate her recipe, which I just knew I’d love!

Lemon Dressing

1 clean, organic lemon
Olive oil
Salt, to taste
Salad of your choice

To make the dressing, trim the lemon ends and quarter it.


Place the pieces in a blender or food processor. Blend away until you can’t.


Add about 1/2 cup of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt, and re-blend the mixture.


Strain the dressing through a fine strainer into a medium bowl. What you’re left with is a thickened emulsified lemon dressing.

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.

I’m definitely making this dressing again. Next time I’ll add some toasted walnuts and crumbled goat cheese to the salad!

I also really love lemon dressing on salads that are grain-based, so that might be my next move!

76 thoughts on “Whole Lemon Dressing

  1. You had me at lemon! I am so going to make this … and you’re right, it would be fantastic on a grain salad like bulgur wheat or freekeh. In fact I’m going to make it right now. Thanks! Lxxx

    • I used to take bioflavinoids, which is extracted from the pith of citrus fruit, so I know you’re right about how healthy it is. And with a dressing this good, whole lemons should be used more often! Will look into that salad. LOVE calamari!

    • It was probably Bewitching Kitchen! I love the jalapeño addition! This is definitely more of a dressing, or at least that’s how I made it. Really good, especially if you love lemon!

  2. I was on holiday the first time I ever ate Avocado and the cook made a wonderful lemon dressing to accompany it. It had touch of garlic in it but was absolutely lovely and I have never been able to replicate it. Maybe this is what he did so I will try this – with a touch of garlic!! Thank goodness for your husband and the telly or you would never have been able to pass this on. Thanks!! 😀

  3. I can believe this is fabulous because I make a whole lemon lemonade too. (3 whole lemons, 2 cups sugar, and 2 cups lemon juice blended on high then mixed with 5 cups water). It has a thicker,smoothie-like consistency. Next up a dressing in my blender… GREG

  4. Mimi – I love lemon and just about everything, but I often find lemon dressing is too acidic. However, I am absolutely fascinated by this and can’t wait to make it. I have a feeling that using the whole lemon or reduce the acidity a lovely dressing.

    • I’m actually surprised that I didn’t include a little honey in the recipe, because that would have been my first thought. I probably tasted it and was surprised at how good it was! And I’m not a lemon freak!

  5. That sounds marvelous! I’m very much into using the whole fruit. This might sound strange, but after squeezing a lemon, I will often grind the whole peel to crumbs, and blend them with oatmeal and cream (and sugar). I also make “whole orange” muffins. I can’t wait to try this!

    • Fascinating. Others have told me they make lemonade that way, and also put a whole orange in a cake. I was skeptical, mostly because of the seeds, but it’s wonderful!

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