april 5, 2022
Meyer lemons are short in season, yet long in flavor. These thin skinned golden citrus fruits sport a floral aroma. They possess a lemony sweetness that is less astringent than the juice of regular lemons. Because their skin is so thin, one can eat the whole fruit sliced thinly in desserts and savory dishes.
Chicken with Meyer Lemon Salsa features the whole fruit, while cocktails like my Meyer Lemon Whiskey Cocktail focus on the aromatic juice. Lest you think I throw away the shells once juiced, think again : I add these to a pitcher of filtered water to prolong the pleasure.
Meyer Lemon Peppercorn Vinaigrette has pink peppercorns, which are not actually pepper but rather a berry from an exotic shrub. Take a nibble and decide if you want to add less or more to the dressing. Smashing them lightly with the heel of a heavy knife releases flavor. Honey and Dijon mustard act as emulsifiers. The amount of honey called for simply enhances the natural sweetness of the lemons; this is not a sweet salad dressing.
Homemade salad dressings and vinaigrettes keep for weeks in your fridge. With this in mind, think how easy it is to whip up something seasonal to jazz up your salads. A whisk, a jar, a handheld blender—these are the tools doing the work. Additionally, anything made in your kitchen will be better than market products containing non-food additives.
Meyer lemon season usually ends by May. Buy a stash today, make this vinaigrette and enjoy the unique taste of this exquisite fruit for weeks to come.
Meyer Lemon Peppercorn Vinaigrette
recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company
makes one cup
½ cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice, from about 4-5 small fruits
one small garlic clove zested on microplane grater
1 tablespoon creamy Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
pinch of fine sea salt
2-3 tablespoons pink peppercorns, lightly smashed with heel of knife*
⅓ cup neutral oil like canola
* taste pink peppercorn and decide if you’ll use 2 or 3 tablespoons
(taste can be strong)
In medium nonreactive mixing bowl (use stainless steel or glass), whisk juice with garlic, mustard, honey and salt. Gradually whisk in oil, then stir in peppercorns. You may also shake ingredients together vigorously in glass jar. Vinaigrette keeps for weeks in the refrigerator. Some peppercorns will float on top, so stir or shake to distribute evenly.