As soon as I knew that I had ripe lemons, I immediately knew it was time to make Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette, a dressing Chef Gary taught me to make when I worked for him. I had made it for Claire on Valentine’s Day, and she absolutely loved it. With having just returned from Thanksgiving and eating way too much heavy food, we were both craving a salad; therefore, on Monday afternoon I went to work.
It is not the easiest dressing to make, and as I was making it, I was trying to think how can I tell people how to make it, but here is my best shot.
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin of the lemons (four lemons will make plenty of dressing) without getting much pith (the white part), as the pith will impart a bitter aftertaste to the dressing. Boil the peel in a simple syrup for about 5 minutes. Drain and put the peel inside a blender or food processor.
- Cut the tops off of the lemons and remove all of the pith from the lemons using a very sharp knife.
- Once all of the pith is removed, cut the lemons into quarters. Deseed each quarter as there are a lot of seeds in a Meyer Lemon. The easiest way I have found is to cut where the middle of the whole lemon is away thus exposing more seeds. Put the remaining segments into a pan with simple syrup and boil for five minutes.
- Pour the lemons along with the liquid into the blender with the peel and blend until smooth.
- While the blender is on, slowly add a 50/50 mix of olive oil and vegetable oil to emulsify. I do not know how much, I just add until I like the texture and the mouthfeel. It does not take a lot.
- Add about two tablespoons of white wine vinegar and blend.
- Taste. If needed, add more sugar or even honey. I have also added more lemon juice if needed. Also be sure to season with salt and pepper (either black or white works great).
This dressing is very versatile. Obviously it is great on salads with all sorts of toppings. Claire and I especially enjoy it with different mixed citrus, like blood oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, along with dates and pecorino cheese (It makes for a very colorful salad as seen in the picture). It is also great with seafood, especially scallops.
Monday night, I decided to use pears, tangerines, red onions and sautéed chicken and the salad was delightful. Perfect for a meal after a weekend of too much heavy food.
Hopefully my instructions are clear enough. If you can’t find Meyer Lemons, any type of citrus will work, just adjust the sugar accordingly.