Monday, February 6, 2012

Meyer Lemon Salad

 I've been seeing Meyer lemons at stores lately, and of course I had to pick some up. They're not always available, so when I see them, I'm always tempted, even if I don't have specific plans for them.

They're pretty things, with a slightly more orange color than your typical lemon, and they're not quite as tart.

Meyer lemons are thought to be a cross between a regular lemon and some type of orange. Whatever they are, I know I like them.

And the ones I've had have been pretty darned juicy. Even if they're a bit more expensive than regular lemons, you get a lot of juice out of them.

So there I was with my hand full of pretty yellow-orange lemons and no firm plans. I wanted to make sure that I used the lemon juice in a recipe where it could be the star. I decided on a salad dressing using the Meyer lemon juice instead of vinegar.

The standard ratio of acid to oil is one part acid to three parts oil. At that ratio, some vinegars are still too acidic, so you need to add honey or sugar or some other sweetener to balance the tartness. Since Meyer lemon juice isn't quite as tart as vinegar or regular lemon juice, you need much less sweetener, which is a bonus. This recipe still adds a little sugar, but it's not much.

To go with the dressing, I made a simple salad, with olives, feta cheese, and artichoke hearts. 

Meyer Lemon Salad Dressing

1 tablespoon meyer lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt

Put the lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper into a small container with a tight-fitting lid.

Shake the container vigorously until the oil and vinegar combine and you have a thick mixture.

For the salad I made, I sprinkled dry oregano over the salad before adding the dressing. I used romaine lettuce and topped it with olives, feta cheese, and artichoke hearts, but of course you can assemble your salad any way you like.

You could also add the oregano - or any other herbs you like - to the dressing when you mix it, if you prefer.