This recipe isn’t exactly “new” to my site, but this fabulous Herby Lemon Vinaigrette really needs its own place to live. In the past, it’s been part of my Cold Tuna Salad with Green Beans but this dressing is so versatile, you might want to try it on different salads, maybe use it as a marinade and maybe even drizzle it over any simply cooked or grilled fish or chicken.
A combination of herbs wakes up this lovely dressing. There are a few special touches and a little secret or two in the making of this beautiful vinaigrette.
About Herby Lemon Vinaigrette:
Some of this dressing is pretty standard, expected. There’s your typical olive oil, garlic, Dijon, and an acid, in this case, the lemon. Then there’s a touch of anchovy, optional. A way to get around any squeamishness is to use anchovy paste in a tube, but leave it out if you want. A little anchovy isn’t really something you taste but it gives this dressing a deep umami flavor and it never hurts to up your nutrition game with just a little extra Omega!
The herbs are rosemary, parsley and there’s a touch of tarragon or dill. That’s because this is such developed originally for my Cold Tuna Salad and either goes wonderfully. The dill is great with any fish and the tarragon, well, you can’t go wrong with using it with fish or chicken and it really does lean towards the French side. A little red onion mellows in the vinaigrette and gives this dressing just a hint of sumpin sumpin.
Making Herby Lemon Vinaigrette:
The special touch in this dressing is that you start out by warming up the olive oil, gently, with the rosemary and garlic. It takes the edge off the garlic and infuses that oil with mellow, roasted garlic flavor. Its also a great solution for that rosemary; there are no worries about this hard, sharp herb floating around in the dressing and the flavor comes through quickly. Do not heat the oil super high. Just warm it.
If you don’t want to use the anchovies, no worries. The dressing is still outstanding. If you want a little of that umami flavor, try a dash or two of either fish sauce or Worcestershire. Do take your time mincing the parsley and the red onion. It makes a difference! No one wants to deal with eating larger pieces of either and the smaller dice stays suspended for awhile in the dressing.
I do like to add the ingredients to a jar and shake them up. I just think it’s easier than whisking and gives the dressing a nice emulsion.
Saving Money on Herby Lemon Vinaigrette:
Red Onions do go on sale now and then, but store really well. I often look for them at Aldi. Peel your onions carefully, leaving as many layers intact as possible…most of the healthful nutrients (just like with many vegetables) lie just below the skin. If I don’t have an immediate use for my onion, I’ll wrap the rest in plastic and place in the door of the fridge where I’ll see it; there are rumors about cut onions and bacteria. Use a clean knife to cut and avoid placing cut side down on a dirty counter and you should be just fine. If a partially used onion gets a little dry on the edges as it’s stored, just trim that part off.
If you’re making the Cold Tuna Salad with Green Beans, save the rest of the lemon for that salad. In season in the winter months here, Lemons will also be at the best price then and bags will be available at a discount. That’s when you want to go wild with lemon recipes, but do watch for sales throughout the year. Weigh several lemons in your hand and pick the heaviest; it will hold the most juice. Minor imperfections in color don’t matter but don’t’ buy lemons that are drying out and browning.
To get the most from your lemon, roll it on the counter with a good bit of pressure and/or microwave for 20 to 30 seconds. You’ll always get more juice if you ream rather than squeeze. If you need a small amount of juice, “fork” the lemon by stabbing it with a fork and squeeze the juice out, then wrap and save for later. The rind holds as much or more flavor than the juice; even if a recipe doesn’t call to grate it, do so and keep it in a tiny Ziploc in the freezer, adding to it as you go. It will dry out but can be used in many recipes when you don’t have a lemon on hand.
Herby Lemon Vinaigrette
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 1/2 cup 1x
- Category: Salads
- Cuisine: French
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed& finely chopped
- 1 small sprig rosemary (or about 1/2 teaspoon dried and crushed)
- 2 anchovies, packed in oil, finely chopped or about 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped dill or tarragon, to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion (may substitute shallot)
- 1/4 cup of lemon juice (about a half lemon of a large juicy lemon; use the other half for serving)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place olive oil in small pan or skillet and warm through with the garlic and rosemary. Pour into a small bowl and cool to room temperature. If using a sprig of rosemary, remove.
Whisk in the anchovies, mustard, dill or tarragon, parsley, red onion and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. (The ingredients can be placed in a jar and shaken instead of whisked in.)
To shortcut this recipe, do not heat the olive oil, garlic, and rosemary, simply mix in with the rest of the dressing ingredients. The dressing will taste slightly sharper.
Keywords: anchovies, Lemon, Red onion, Salad, Salad Dressings, Vinaigrette
I’ll be sharing this week at Fiesta Friday #327, an ongoing collection of recipes by multiple bloggers. Stop by if you have a chance and check it out.