Dirt to Table Experience: Fresh Lemon-Herb Dressing in a Jar

Growing-up bottled salad dressings were the norm. Lucky for me, I was exposed early to basic vinegar and oil dressings made at home, and not in a bottle.   Why, would you purchase store bought?  Have you taken a look at a typical salad dressing label?  Basic vinaigrettes are a cinch to make and with a quick toss to fresh salad greens, makes for a beautiful salad.

I make endless varieties of  vinaigrettes depending on what I have on hand.  No matter what the flavor combination, the only stead fast rule is use 2 parts oil, to 1-part vinegar or citrus. Salt and pepper, and a bit of Dijon mustard.  You can add any additional fresh or dried herbs that you choose, blend it together to emulsify, and it is ready.

Citrus is in season and it serves as a flavorful fresh base to dressings (My Meyer lemon tree produced over 100 lemons this season).  The garden lettuce is rocking and salads are knocking this winter at my house.

Lemon-Herb Dressing
Makes 1-cup
Recipe from Everyday Food

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon 
Season with sea salt freshly ground black pepper
In a medium jar with a tight fitting lid, combine all the ingredients, and shake to combine.
To store, refrigerate, up to 5 days.
Quick ideas:
  • Use as a marinade for chicken or pork
  • Mix with warm boiled new potatoes
  • Drizzle over baked fish
  • Brush on crusty bread to grill or broil
  • Toss with steamed or grilled vegetables
  • Mash with feta for a quick crostini spread


36 thoughts on “Dirt to Table Experience: Fresh Lemon-Herb Dressing in a Jar

  1. Velva, Your post was perfect timing, I sent to both my DIL's your web site. I bought both of them an excellent olive oil with a beautiful decanter and told them that it was such a fine olive oil that it was to be used for dressings and NOT for cooking. They really have no idea how easy it is to make an excellent dressing. Now, your pic looks so yummy, I am thinking a good salad for lunch. I have plenty of meyer lemons too.CarolynCarolyn


  2. I grew up with oil and vinegar or oil and lemon. Switched to bottled because it was required by children and husband. Now we are back on oil and vinegar. Nothing better. I know what's in it!


  3. That brings back early memories of my arrival in California and seeing people buy all these bottles of creamy dressing; was in charge of making the dressing every single day at home and thought buying these was strange when it was so simple to make! Yours today is the best of the best and with fresh lettuce and herbs!!!Perfection!


  4. Mind sending me a few lemons!! What a bountiful harvest! So happy for you! I, too, don't buy store bought dressings. Too much of a disappointment especially when homemade is way better!! This vinaigrette sounds wonderfully flavorful and the perfect addition to most salads!


  5. Beautiful dressing and totally perfect to brighten up a winter day! I'm feeling salad deprived lately, maybe a hood vinaigrette like this will change that :)Hope you're enjoying your holidays!


  6. You are preaching to the choir Velva. I grew up on those bottled dressings, we always had Thousand Island and Catalina on the table. I made my first vinaigrette years ago and haven't looked back. Thanks for one more recipe for my database. Happy New Year.


  7. Delicious! I'm another one on the list that grew up on bottled dressing. Thankfully once I started cooking I discovered not only how simple making fresh dressing was, but what a difference in flavor! I have never gone back to bottled since.


  8. If you told me you had so many Meyers, I would have flown to see you. Wink, wink!I was so desperate to bring Meyers home with me…but never made it to the stores to get them as I left it for the last minute.Thankfully, a friend sent me some seeds which I'm hoping will give me meyers before I become a grandmother. Sigh.Have a delicious, refreshing and most blessed holiday, Velva. BTW, I LOVE your photo – the one of you, int he right hand corner…of your blog!X X XAnd, the craisins you sent me, years ago….made a delicious cranberry sauce for the Christmas turkey! Thank you!!


  9. And though I make most salad dressings in a snap, I recently tried Heinz Salad cream in a 'Nigerian salad', something I hadn't had in years….and I buckled. My knees gave way. Nostalgia in part, and deliciousness in total. Sigh.


  10. They meyer lemon is such a terrific fruit. I alway keep lemons on hand. This evening I will make your dressing with the honey. I saw your link on Mama with Flavor and thought I would check out your blog.


  11. Hello Velva,Thank you for stopping by! Glad to find you again!! Your Lemon-Herb Dressing looks and sounds wonderful!! I've got to get back to making my own again!! Thank you for sharing your recipes!! I must try your lemon brownies!!


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