Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe

When life gives you lemons. . . 
Browsing at my local library last week I stumbled upon the cooking guide Jamie's Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver.  My sons and I enjoyed the show by the same name and were eager to check out the book.  In the van on the drive home from the library my son started to peruse our find and shout out interesting recipes.  This book contains a ton of cooking instructions that I've marked as worthy to be tried.  Jamie's chapters on Easy Curries and Tasty Stir-Fries have lots of recipes that use ingredients that are out of my comfort zone, but that seem tasty and feasible.

Lovin' Salads is another chapter that appeals to me.  On page 101 Jamie writes, "In my view, salads are a really important part of modern-day eating.  Finding ways for your family to want to eat them is what it's all about."  I agree!  He goes on to stress the importance of mastering "salad skills" rather than following exact recipes.

Due to my recent obsession fascination with lemons, I chose to shake up a jar of Jamie's Jam Jar Lemon Dressing as my first recipe from this cookbook.  The idea of mixing up fresh vinaigrettes in cute jars has always been appealing to me, so I used his recipe as an inspiration.  In addition to olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice, I added the zest of one lemon to my vinaigrette.

. . . make Lemon Vinaigrette and. . . 
My jam jar Lemon Vinaigrette motivated me to create a luscious green salad using my leftover Lemon Chicken, spinach, romaine lettuce, feta cheese, and a few croutons.  I warmed up the chicken in the microwave for a minute.  The warmth of the meat contrasted nicely with the coolness of the salad greens.  The vinaigrette was the perfect light yet flavorful touch for my salad.

. . . Lemon Chicken Salad!
Other jam jar dressings that Jamie writes about include French, yogurt, and balsamic.  I want to try them all.  The pictorial chart that is included on page 119 is just what I need to add variety to my salad repertoire.  It pictures different lettuces, herbs, veggies, cheeses, and toppings that can be mixed and matched to create an infinite amount of salads for lunch or dinner.  Now that I've tackled Jamie's salads I'm ready to move on to some of his curries and perhaps his Lemon, Ginger, and Turmeric Rice. I'm also ready to add Jamie's Food Revolution to my Christmas list.

Lemon Vinaigrette

inspired by Jamie Oliver's Jam Jar Lemon Dressing from Jamie's Food Revolution

6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (this is a time to use your good stuff)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
zest of 1 lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
juice of 1 small or 1/2 large lemon (about 2 Tablespoons)

  1. Put 6 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a small empty jar that has a tight fitting lid.  
  2. Add salt, pepper, and lemon zest to jar.  
  3. Shake gently to combine.
  4. Add the juice of one lemon.
  5. Shake vigorously to create a creamy texture.
  6. Use on your favorite green salad and store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
Note:  If you're fresh out of small, cute jars with tight fitting lids, you could whisk this vinaigrette in a bowl and create the same results.

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