A good, simple lemon vinaigrette is essential for any kitchen. It can be used in a variety of dishes to brighten flavors and bring a real sense of freshness to any table.
That being said… A great vinaigrette should always be made with excellent quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil! Always. When cooking with raw ingredients in their purest form, sourcing the freshest, ripest, natural, premium, top tier components is key in creating the most delicious and healthy meal.
I’m probably the definition of “simple” when it comes to making my vinaigrette or dressing and I add all my ingredients in to a small mason jar, put the lid on, and shake. But if you’re more of a bowl and whisk, or blender type cook you do you.
Applications for Lemon Vinaigrette
• Arugula – A simple Wild Arugula salad with Parmesan cheese is understated, but perfect with this Lemon vinaigrette! I love to dress Arugula as just a topping on a prosciutto and melon salad with some of my favorite bread sticks. The vinaigrette really completes the dish and pulls the whole thing together!
• Fish – Lemon and fish are a classic pairing! Whether your favorite is Salmon, Bass, Halibut or lighter fare such as Sole or Tilapia, Lemon vinaigrette is match made in heaven with seafood!
• Pasta – This would be perfect for a cold pasta salad! I would suggest a healthy drizzle of First Avenue Extra Virgin Olive, to give it a little extra body. Depending on the rest of your ingredients in your pasta salad and their level of acidity, the extra olive oil will help mellow out things such as tomatoes, pepperoncinis, etc. Also, the addition of cheese in your pasta salad will balance out the palate.
• Beets – Dressing your chilled, roasted beets with some lemon vinaigrette, goat cheese, basil, and your favorite green sounds like heaven to me! I would opt for Arugula, but I’m a little partial.
Literally, the possibilities are endless when it comes to lemon! Let your imagination run wild and take you where your culinary heart hasn’t gone before. That’s the fun part about cooking! There is forever something you haven’t tried!
Lemon Vinaigrette recipe
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1 small garlic clove (crushed or grated)
• 1 tsp. favorite Dijon mustard
• 1/4 tsp. sea salt (to taste)
• A couple cranks freshly ground pepper
• 1/4 cup - 1/3 cup First Avenue Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 1/2 tsp. honey (optional. I don't typically add this)
• 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme (optional. Can use dried if fresh isn't available. I don't usually add this.)
1. Add lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, and honey if using in vessel of your choice ( I use a mason jar. You can whisk together in a bowl if you prefer.)
2. Add EVOO to taste. Start with a lesser amount. You can always add but you can't remove. If you like like your vinaigrette more acidic with a bit of a bite add less olive oil. If you like your vinaigrette more balanced add closer to the full 1/3 measurement. Shake your jar to combine/emulsify (or drizzle into your bowl and whisk together, if this is your method of choice).
3. Add thyme, if using.
4. Taste for seasoning. Adjust salt and pepper if needed.
Notes: Yields – Approx. 1/2 cup. Store unused vinaigrette in the fridge for up to 1 week. When using cold remaining vinaigrette you may want to remove from the fridge ahead of use to allow to it come to room temperature as the oil may solidify slightly in the fridge.