With bright, fresh lemon flavor, this Lemon Oregano Salad Dressing is delicious on just about any salad, but how about on grilled chicken, shrimp and pork, roasted veggies, steamed potatoes … everything?
How do you feel about breaking rules every now and then?
Me? I don’t have any problem with it – at least when it comes to lemons. If you cook with any type of citrus fruit, you probably know one of the big “no-no’s” is to never use the pith (the white part just under the colored exterior) of the fruit in your recipes, as it can be quite bitter. It’s okay to use the zest, the juice, the fruit itself, just not the pith.
This Lemon Oregano Salad Dressing is a rule breaker as it utilizes the entire lemon. Yup, zest, pith, juice, pulp, all of it! I based the recipe off of my Whole Lemon Thyme Dressing (which was based on a recipe from Bon Appetit). The pith does add a bit of mild bitterness, but it’s very pleasing. In fact we enjoy the Whole Lemon Thyme Dressing so much (and heard so much positive feedback from readers), I decided to change it up a bit and use the new dressing in a salad I’ve been working on. I’ll be sharing the salad on Monday, but I’ve found so many other uses for this delicious dressing, I decided it deserved it’s own post.
The lemon is thinly sliced, then chopped fairly fine after removing the seeds. After that it’s easy-peasy, just throw it all in a jar and give a good shake. I like to add the oregano just before serving as it darkens a bit in color as it sits in the dressing. If you add it ahead of time, it still tastes heavenly, but it’s just not as pretty.
To me, lemon and fresh oregano are a match made in heaven. I have to admit though; fresh oregano isn’t my first herb of choice. Basil, rosemary and thyme are more popular in my kitchen, and I actually prefer to use dried oregano vs. fresh in lots of dishes. But in certain recipes, (like this dressing) you just can’t beat the bold, complex flavor of fresh oregano, especially when paired with bright, fresh flavors like lemon and garlic.
Looking at the recipe, you might think there’s too much lemon with one whole lemon, as well as additional lemon juice. The dressing definitely has a sunny, bright lemon flavor, but not too much – I promise! It adds a huge pizzazz to anything you drizzle it on, from grilled chicken or shrimp to roasted veggies, steamed potatoes and salads of every variety.
So there you have it; a sunny, delicious, unique dressing to add new life to your everyday salads, grilled meats, veggies, etc. And you can feel good about breaking the rules on this front – it actually may be the first time you get rave reviews for rule-breaking! But not me!!
LOTS OF PEOPLE ASK WHAT KIND OF COOKWARE, SMALL APPLIANCES, CUTLERY, ETC. I USE IN THE KITCHEN. HERE’S WHAT I USED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE.
- 1 medium organic lemon, washed well and dried
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh oregano leaves*, packed
- Cut both ends off of lemon and discard. Thinly slice lemon, discarding seeds as you go. Stack a few slices on top of each other and chop fairly fine. I start out by thinly slicing the slices in one direction and then do the same thing in the opposite direction. After that I keep the tip of the knife on the cutting board and place the fingers of one hand on top of the knife. Holding the handle with the other hand, I just keep rocking the knife through the lemon until it is fairly finely chopped. You want the pieces pretty small, but keep some texture. (See picture in post.)
- Place chopped lemon and all other ingredients except oregano in a small jar with a tight fitting lid and shake, shake, shake!
- Chop oregano fairly fine and add to dressing before serving.**
* I recommend organic lemons, since you're using the entire lemon.
** If I’m not serving the dressing right away, I like to wait to add the oregano till just before serving as it gets darker in color as it sits in the dressing. It still tastes great but isn’t quite as pretty.