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Nov 11, 2011 05:28 PM

Citrus vinagrette or dressing for salads?

A year ago, I had a fantastic salad made by Chef Nate Smith for one of the Pie for Dinners held at Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Brooklyn. I've really loved the salad which had the usual greens, some mint, herbs and what I can only describe as a citrus (lemon?) based dressing. It was incredibly refreshing and light. I was wondering if anyone had a lemon/citrus based recipe that they loved and was willing to share. I've looked online and I haven't really found a recipe that I've liked or felt certain of.

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  1. I've never used a recipe for a salad dressing but you might want to fool around with different citrus. There could have been sour orange, blood orange, grapefruit or the usual suspects in it. There might also have been some citrus zest which adds flavor without sourness.

    1. My go-to vinaigrette recipe is from Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian".
      Basic recipe is: combine in blender 1/2 cup olive oil, 3 tbsp white wine vinegar, salt & pepper; blend until smooth; add 1 shallot, roughly chopped; blend until smooth.
      To that basic recipe, I'd add lemon zest, or orange/tangerine/grapefruit zest, some honey, and maybe a little mustard. You could also substitute fresh lemon/orange/grapefruit juice for the vinegar.
      Good luck!

      1. A basic Citronette is very simple and emulsifies with a quick whisking or a good shaking.
        1 part Lemon Juice
        2-3 parts oil of your choice
        from there you can go all sorts of directions. Shallot, Garlic, other Citrus, Nut Oils, Herbs etc...

        1. You can basically substitute lemon or lime juice for vinegar in a wide range of vinaigrette recipes. If you want to keep the flavor really light and keep citrus out in the forefront, a very neutral oil can help - grapeseed oil is a good choice.

          On top of that, zest can be added. A little honey can also brighten a vinaigrette. But basically, go to town - there are a million possible variations.

          1. Thank you all for the recipes and suggestions. I will definitely give this a try soon. I normally make a simple balsamic or dijon vinaigrette so this will be a welcome addition to my vinaigrette/dressing arsenal. Thanks!

            2 Replies
            1. re: lulumoolah

              To expand your repertoire even further (I'm now going beyond your original question), you might try rice wine vinegar and a little sesame oil or sherry vinegar and walnut/hazelnut oil. I have a number of small bottles of nut/seed oils in my frig that allow me to make very different dressings.

              1. re: lulumoolah

                I'm a big fan of lemon-flavored olive oil. It works like magic for the simplest of salads:

                arugula, shaved parm, chopped shrimp, fresh ground pepper. toss with lemon oil & a bit of lemon. done.