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Nov 30, 2006 05:13 PM

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette?

My husband and I went out to eat last night and tried a salad we had never tried before at the restaurant. We ate at Continental Divide in Charlottesville, VA. It was a cilantro lime vinaigrette and was by far the most delicious salad dressing I've ever had (I don't say that litely!) It was slightly tangy, but also a tad bit creamy. Just a tad though. So far I've put my finger on the following ingriedients, but in case any of you have had this dressing before and have the recipe for something similar, I would love to have it! Please post your thoughts!!
So far...
lime juice
Others I am unsure of...
oil (canola? def was not an olive oil)
white vinegar?
honey? (could this be the creamy?)

Help me solve this mystery and enjoy this delicious dressing at home! Thanks!

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  1. Busted on the CH, Upstate Girl! That dressing must really be good-- I will have to check back to see if anyone posts recipes.

    Looking forward to lasagna tomorrow!

    1. Deborah madison in vegetarian cooking for everybody has a recipe that sounds a bit like that, but it's more tangy than creamy. If you have that cookbook, or access to it, you might look there for inspiration.

      1. Here's one I use:

        1/2 cup of lime juice
        1/4 cup of white vinegar
        1 bunch of cilantro (de-stemmed)
        2 tablespoons of honey
        2 tablespoons of brown sugar
        1/2 teaspoon salt
        1-2 teaspoons of garlic, minced (depending on your taste)
        1 1/2 tablespoons of dijon mustard
        1 1/2 cups of vegtable oil (I use peanut, but any would do)
        sometimes I throw in 1/2 a seeded jalapeno

        Use a food processor to puree the lime juice, vinegar and cilantro (throw the jalapeno in here too if using). Add everything else but the oil, and mix well. Slowly drizzle the oil in, so you get a nice emulsion (I think this is where the creamy comes in, if you do it carefully).

        What kid of a salad did the restaurant serve it on?
        Makes around 2 cups

        1 Reply
        1. re: bobbyperu

          It was actually just field greens, but it didn't need much more with the yummy dressing. Thanks for your recipe.

        2. I find that the quality of the vinegar makes a hige difference too. Try to buy really high-end gourmet vinegar from Williams Sonoma or specialty food store. The quality of the vinegar will drive the quality of the whole thing.

          1. I bet if you called Continental Divide and asked they'd give you the recipe, or at least tell you what's in it. Like most of the good restaurants in Cville, it's smallish, locally owned, and a little removed from main grounds. They rely on great word of mouth, so I'm sure they'd be flattered.

            Barring that, Trader Joe's has a cilantro dressing I absolutely LOVE that you might try. And it's low calorie to boot!

            3 Replies
            1. re: charmedgirl

              Thanks for your suggestion about calling the restaurant, but I think as someone who likes to keep my own best recipes a secret, I probably won't. I think every person, and restaurant, needs to have a few tricks up their sleeves when it comes to the kitchen. Some may disagree but I think some recipes should be kept secret, however much we wish we had them. I'm happy to experiment and try to figure it out! Thanks!

              1. re: upstate girl

                What would be the motive for keeping a personal recipe secret? (As long as you are not a professional cook, say, in a restaurant?)
                IMO, there are no recipe "secrets" that can't easily be figured out by a curious, persistent, experienced cook.

              2. re: charmedgirl

                I'm addicted to TJ's Cilantro dressing. Look for it in the cooler near the greens.