Mess Level: Low
Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: None
- 1 Lemon
- ¾ Cup Grapeseed Oil
- 2 teaspoons Honey (optional)
- 1 teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar (optional)
- Juice the lemon into the blender, then add a hefty pinch of salt and pepper. Turn the blender on a medium-low speed and slowly drizzle in the oil. When almost all the oils in you should hear a change in sound, this means the ratio of oil to vinegar is correct and the two have emulsified into one, smooth dressing.
- (OR add the lemon, salt, and pepper to a high-sided bowl. Whisk vigorously while slowly pouring in the oil until all the oil has been added. You may use a wet towel wrapped around the base of the bowl to steady it.)
- Taste the dressing using a piece of lettuce or a vegetable. You may need to add more salt and pepper.
- If you want it sweeter or the flavors a little more complex, add honey and red wine vinegar and blend again.
- This dressing is not one that I liked when tasting it plain, but when added to a salad, it's absolutely fantastic. Especially if paired with some apple chunks or dried cranberries. Enjoy!
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What is emulsified?
- It's pretty much magic...
Two liquids that would normally separate becoming one.
Why does tasting the dressing with a vegetable help?
- The dressing is just one piece of the puzzle...
Because you’re tasting what the finished product will be like. Odds are you aren’t going to eat the dressing by itself (ranch dressing maybe), but not a vinaigrette. The dressing may not need anything when tasted with a vegetable whereas, by itself, it may not be well-rounded.
Ramblings of a Line Cook
There is nothing worse than trying something new and it turns out to be a complete bust. Nothing like a good ole, failure to boost your confidence, am I right? That seems to be the problem with people and homemade salad dressings. And do you know what the culprit usually is? A nasty-tasting oil.
That’s right folks, if you’re trying to make a vinegar and oil based dressing, it's going to be ⅔ oil. And if your oil has a strong flavor, it’s going to overpower everything.
Olive Oils are really heart healthy and great for dressing but if you have a cheap one, your vinaigrette is probably going to show it. Now instead of dropping $30 bucks on some fancy imported olive oil, I really recommend getting Grapeseed oil. It has almost no taste and will let you control the flavors you want in your dressing instead of adding a ton of ingredients trying to combat that olive flavor.
So once you’ve got a decent oil, go to town! This is one of my favorite dressings because it's truly simple, fresh and good. I especially love it on a Kale Apple Salad. Something about lemon and apple man, it gets me. And once you’ve mixed up your dressing, grab a leaf from your salad and use that to taste it. This is the best way to determine if the dressing needs anymore doctoring up.
P.S Grapeseed Oil has a really high smoke point, which means you can sear and saute things at a higher heat without it burning. I give it two thumbs up! Available at most grocery stores in the oil section. Cost is similar to olive oil.