Sunday, March 09, 2008


The cats are snoozing in the sun on the west balcony, the tomatoes are in their new, bigger homes, enjoying real sunshine, and my office is cheerful with the scent of sweet peas from a friend's garden. Spring is here. I know, technically, spring doesn't start for a couple of weeks, but no matter—for all intents and purposes, it is here.

If you are not able to relish in springtime yet, perhaps this salad dressing will help. It makes the best of the seasonal pleasure of Meyer lemons and tastes of the zingy freshness of brighter days.

Meyer Lemon Salad Dressing

You will need:
1 Meyer lemon
1 large garlic clove, peeled
½ teaspoon of coarse sea salt
a very generous glug of good olive oil

Mortar and pestle
Small strainer
½ pint jar with lid

To make the dressing:
Using a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic clove and the salt together to make a rough paste. (Do not try to make it smooth or you will overpower your lettuce.) Stir the juice from the lemon directly into the mortar.

Pour the lemon-salt-garlic mixture through the strainer into the small jar, and discard the solids that remain in the strainer. After taking a moment to look to see how much of the lemon juice mixture you have, pour in roughly the same amount of olive oil. Screw on the lid, and finally, shake the ingredients together to emulsify into lovely, golden-green garlicky goodness.

Dress your naked greens and eat them with someone who won't mind your breath.


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Thank goodness for Trader Joe's, which has the nicest Meyer lemons around here in wintry New England. Will try this recipe on some lovely greens.

winedeb said...

Tomatoes are lookin' good girl! My newbees are about 6-8 inches tall now. They are in their permanent homes now - 12-14 inch pots. Last week it looked like the leafminers were going to be a problem, but they seem to be dormant this week. We have had some very high winds so I think the insects are being blown away for now!
Your kitty is sooo cute!

Wendy said...

I have a beautiful big bunch of purple sprouting broccoli which I'll be steaming tomorrow night. Going to dress it with this. Yum.
Question - are meyer lemons very different to normal lemons?

Christina said...

Lydia: I hope you enjoy it. I love the fragrant Meyer lemon with the sharp garlic edge--I hope the combination will bring some sunshine to New England for you.

Winedeb: Thank you! Oh wow, you're are already in their permanent homes--that's great. I'll tell Rose you think she's cute. She'll love the compliment.

Wendy: This dressing would be great on it. A Meyer lemon is different from a regular lemon. It is like a cross between a lemon and a tangerine, with thin dark-golden skin and a wonderful, slightly floral scent. They're juicier than regular lemons and in my mind, much better. However, I think you could make this same dressing with lemon juice and a splash of orange or tangerine to make the juice a little less sour. I hope that helps.

Have a wonderful evening, everyone.

kate said...

I so wish I could smell sweet peas ... or even know what a Meyer lemon tasted like. The salad dressing must be delicious. I love garlic and lemon together!

I'll post more about the worms - I have been reading much about them and having fun keeping them going. They are like pets in some strange way ... although much less work.

Lucy said...

Love that kitty cat. Who is that?

Have bookmarked the recipe - glad to see your toms peeking through. Mine have taken over the front garden and are spreading, unchecked, all over the pavers...

Christina said...

Kate: If you ever take a trip to Southern California in March, you will have your fill of both.

Lucy: Hi friend. That is Rose, the female half of the feline pair that call this place home. I took a couple pictures of my chard to send your way soon--I'll be making the chard tart on Friday, after Emilio, the consummate carnivore goes away for his stag weekend. Three weeks away this wedding of mine is--can you believe it? What kind of tomatoes do you have growing?

Rosa said...

A lovely variation on lemon dressing; can't wait to try it with Menton lemons!

Lucy said...

No, I cannot believe it! Three weeks? You must be a bundle of nerves and excitement. Am thrilled for you both.

The tomatoes are yellow cherry ones - I'm getting about a pound a day from them and frankly, that still isn't enough!

Wendy said...

The dressing (made with juice from normal lemons and orange)was sensational. Have had it every night since!!

Dan Owen said...

I noticed your Meyer Lemon Salad Dressing and will give this a try. Thanks.