Lemon dressing

Homemade salad dressings are better than store-bought for a few reasons:

  1. They don’t have any additives.
  2. they can have alot more flavor – most store bought dressings are mainly water.
  3. emulsification – making your dressing homogeneous. If your dressing is properly emulsified it will have a creamy texture and will stick to your salad rather than just running off it.

Lemon salad dressing ( or, vinaigrette)

  • zest and juice of 4 lemons (about 2/3 cup)
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 1/3 cups veg oil, I use half canola and half olive oil.

Blender method : put your lemon zest, juice, dijon and honey in the blender and blend on low speed. With blender running, begin pouring in the oil in a slow steady stream. Be careful not to add the oil in too quickly. You should see the dressing turn a solid color and look creamy. This is how you know the oil is being properly emulsified. Once you’ve achieved that you can start pouring the oil in a little more quickly.

This will keep pretty much forever in the fridge. It may settle after a while, just give it a stir or shake and it will come back.

As a rule of thumb dressings are 1 part vinegar or citrus juice to 3-4 parts oil. I like my dressing a little tangy so I go for 3 parts oil. If you like it less acidic, add more oil.

On emulsification:

This is when fat is bonded to a liquid to form a homogeneous mixture. An emulsifier will be used to form that bond. In this case it’s the mustard and honey. Egg yolks are also used to create emulsification, as in mayonnaise and hollandaise sauce. These 3 items have one thing in common; a protein called lecithin – the active ingredient.

The bond forms slowly at first and if you add too much oil at once you risk breaking it. That’s ok it’ll still taste great, it just won’t have the same creamy texture. Once you do it a few times you’ll get the hang of it.

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