Lemon French dressing Recipe (Fast and Simple)

Why It Works

  • Utilizing each lemon juice and zest offers the French dressing a vivid, daring taste you may’t get from juice alone.
  • Dijon mustard helps the French dressing stay emulsified for an extended time.
  • Shallots and honey add a refined sweetness and steadiness the citrus’s acidity.

Earlier than I left for a three-week trip this previous December, I frantically juiced all my lemons. I had 12 hours till my flight departed. My condominium was a chaotic mess. I nonetheless wasn’t fully packed… and someway, my largest precedence was freezing lemon juice. My logic: They’re costly and are available from distant, and I simply couldn’t abdomen the considered all of it going to waste.

There are a lot of components I can’t stay with out, however few are as versatile because the lemon. I depend on their juice to brighten up salads, pastas, and drinks, and so they have a starring position in my favourite lemon bars. What I make most with the fruit, nonetheless, is salad dressing. There aren’t many greens that don’t go properly with the citrus, and preserving a jar of this punchy lemon French dressing in my fridge means I can simply toss collectively a salad at a second’s discover. Plus: It lasts for a full month refrigerated, which suggests I could make it forward so it’s all the time prepared for quick lunches and minimal-effort weeknight dinners.

This dressing is so simple it entails only one step—barely a recipe, actually. Merely stir collectively the lemon juice and zest, honey, garlic, shallot, and salt in a big nonreactive bowl, then progressively stream within the olive oil as you whisk consistently to emulsify. The result’s a creamy, invigorating French dressing that may even brighten up the dreary salad you could have picked up for lunch.

With brightness from each lemon juice and zest, this French dressing is a daring, bracing strategy to costume leafy greens and tender herbs. As a result of lemon peel accommodates many aromatic phenolic compounds—water-soluble antioxidant molecules—the ensuing dressing is way more fragrant than in case you had been to make use of lemon juice alone. A finely chopped shallot and contact of honey deliver a refined sweetness that balances the lemon’s acidity and Dijon mustard’s spicy kick, whereas grated garlic lends a savory word.

The Significance of Emulsification in a French dressing

Like oil and water, oil and acidic liquids like vinegar and this dressing’s lemon juice don’t come collectively—or keep mixed—simply with no little assist from an emulsifier like mustard, mayonnaise, or an egg yolk. 

Once you correctly emulsify dressing, you find yourself with a thick, creamy French dressing as an alternative of a skinny, runny sauce. However improved texture is not the one benefit of an emulsified French dressing: Your dressed salad will last more too. Kenji found as a lot when he put emulsified versus non-emulsified vinaigrettes to the check and located that greens wearing plain oil and vinegar wilted quicker than these wearing an emulsified French dressing. One among his worthwhile insights from this check was that it was the oil—and never the vinegar—that wilted the leaves. By totally mixing the 2 into an emulsion, that wilting impact of the oil is lessened.

Within the recipe beneath, Dijon mustard is the emulsifier that helps the French dressing keep blended for longer. Even with an emulsifier, although, a French dressing will doubtless separate after sittingfor a number of hours. Simply give it a superb whisk or shake earlier than utilizing to deliver all of it again collectively, and also you’re good to go. As Kenji says, your French dressing solely wants to remain certain lengthy sufficient so that you can take pleasure in your salad—and with this dressing recipe in your pocket, you’re more likely to find it irresistible even when it’s an in any other case sad-desk-lunch salad.

Editor’s Observe

This recipe was developed by Marianne Williams and the headnote was written by Genevieve Yam.

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