Creamy Meyer Lemon Dressing

This is the time of year when everyone waxes poetic about citrus. It’s mostly annoying to hear because, we get it, you love citrus in the winter. Unfortunately, the poets are right and the citrus of a California winter is abundant, varied, and delicious. I suppose if you shopped in the regular supermarket, you would be hard pressed to notice this abundance; you might see a few extra tangerines or clementines. But, if you go to the farmer’s market, you’ll see what I’m talking about: several varieties of tangerine, pommelos, oro blancos, blood oranges, Meyer lemons, and more.

My mom is something of a fruit and vegetable whisperer. In a very small backyard space that includes a lot of concrete and a pool, she coaxes hundreds of Meyer lemons, kumquats, and grapefruit from her three tiny trees. So, I am flush with Meyer lemons at this particular moment.

In my last post I mentioned that I’m trying to get ahead in the kitchen more, and this batch of Meyer lemon vinaigrette is right in line with that. I’m one of those people who hates buying salad dressing for two reasons: 1) salad dressing is easy and much cheaper to make at home and 2) I don’t like all the things that companies add to salad dressing to make them last longer on the shelf. So, in general, I refuse to buy the bottled stuff at the store.

Once in awhile, after making salad dressing each time we eat a salad, I get frustrated and just buy some dressing so I don’t have to make it. But, what’s the big deal? It’s obvious that I just need to make a bigger batch so that I have enough to last at least the whole week. Having a bigger batch of homemade salad dressing tucked away in the fridge means I can have salad everyday at lunch without a fuss, and I can toss cooked vegetables in it for dinner, too, like blanched green beans, or roasted fennel.

This recipe yields 2 cups, which should be plenty to last you a week or longer. It fits perfectly in a pint mason jar which is, we all know by now, the perfect home dressing vessel because it’s easy to shake the stuff back into submission when it separates in the fridge.

Meyer lemons are thought to be less tart than their regular old lemon counterparts, but this dressing uses a lot of their juice and is, therefore, wonderfully bright and tangy. Use it sparingly, only a tablespoon or two at a time, to liven up any vegetable or bean dish. 

Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
  • ½ cup EVOO
  • 1/2 cup full fat plain yogurt, not Greek
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1.5 TB honey
  • 2 TB minced shallot (about 1 small shallot)
  • 1 TB minced ginger (optional)
  1. Put the ginger, shallot, honey, salt, and lemon juice in a large bowl. If your bowl has a non-slip bottom you can leave it as is, but if your bowl moves around on the counter when you stir, secure it by placing a damp towel underneath it.
  2. Whisk the mixture together so that the honey and salt dissolve, then slowly whisk in the olive oil. When the olive oil is well combined with the lemon juice, slowly whisk in the cream, and then the yogurt. Taste and season again if you think it needs more salt or pepper. DONE!