Thursday, March 17, 2011

Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

You know how some people have totem animals? Every time they see a wolf or bear it somehow represents them? I do that with food. Some of mine; truffles, tomatoes, goat cheese, olive oil and meyer lemons. I love that meyer lemons are seasonal and when they are gone, they are gone. You have to think and dream about them until they come back into your life again. A bit like a food love story. Meyer lemons are all over the place now. They have a sweeter and muskier smell and flavor than year round lemons which makes them more sophisticated and special to me. I had some friends over the other night and I made a butter lettuce salad with this vinaigrette. It really was spectacular. I topped the salad with baked pumpkin seeds and some shavings of hard parmesean. The next day I made more and drizzled it over some oven roasted asparagus. I think this vinaigrette is so versatile, I would eat it over brown rice or with sliced radishes or even over braised endive. The mustard helps emulsify the lemon juice when adding the olive oil so it does not separate like some vinaigrettes I make. That makes it a great candidate as a sauce or a dressing. I used chopped parsley in this. I would also use tarragon in a heartbeat. I would reduce tarragon to 1 tablespoon because of its strong flavor though. My mouth is watering thinking about putting a tarragon meyer lemon vinaigrette over a warm slice of quiche. Wow!
Either way, the flavor can't be beat. This vinaigrette is like the taste of spring coming, a ode to all the daffodils waking up our gardens right now. A sneek peak of what is to come in a few short months.

Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
makes around 1/2 cup

zest and juice of 1 meyer lemon
pinch salt
couple of grinds of fresh pepper
2 teaspoons of stone ground mustard or dijon mustard
1/3 cup good quality olive oil
2 tbls. of fresh chopped parsley or 1 tbls fresh chopped tarragon

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper and mustard. While still whisking by hand (I used a fork) slowly drizzle in olive oil and then add tarragon or parsley.

Roasting Asparagus
I trim the bottoms of the asparagus, toss in a small bit of olive oil and sea salt, and bake on a cookie sheet 350 degrees for around 15-20 minutes.


Becky said...

I just finished making a "dangit, no, I don't have any blessed meyer lemons" version of your vinaigrette and it is chilling in the fridge! I had to make do with regular old midwestern lemons because I had some in the house and don't have time to run to a store tonight to find meyers. I'd love to try it correct, but you do what you gotta do, right? Also added a little garlic because that's what the kids like. I'm trying to get them off of the packaged vinaigrette... When I find a meyer lemon, I'll make the recipe correctly because it looks great. I'll let you know how my "little bit off" version turns out! lol

Jessica said...

Becky it will be great! are you doing an irish dinner tonight? I am attempting my first corned beef and cabbage! xoxo

Nancy said...

This vinaigrette looks fantastic. I don't get my hands on Meyer lemons quite as often as I'd like here in nyc, but next time I bring some home I will try this. And with asparagus - yes!!

Love your idea of food totems - I would say mine are kale, olive oil, parmigiano reggiano, quinoa, lentils, and lemons :)

Anonymous said...

I've been trying *so* hard not to buy Meyer lemons unless I'm out in California and can load up on them at a local market to bring home with me. But every spring my resolve crumbles away a little bit more! I'll have to make this with regular ol' lemons in the meantime.


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