With bright, fresh flavor, this Lemon Dill Dressing is super easy to throw together and is delicious on greens and veggies as well as chicken, fish and shrimp!
Summer has (unofficially) arrived here in North Carolina and we've watched the barren, cold mountains around us transform to brilliant spring green and now take on the deeper hues of early summer. We're planning to enjoy lots of light, lean meals from the grill and an array of salads drizzled with this delicious Lemon Dill Dressing.
The dressing's super easy to make, with just a few everyday ingredients. It's not a throw-everything-in-the-jar-and-shake number, but almost as simple. You want to thoroughly mix the Dijon mustard, fresh lemon juice and garlic together before adding the oil because otherwise, the dressing can separate a bit. That's the only trick for this bright, flavor-filled dressing.
This Lemon Dill Dressing is so versatile and wonderful with lots of different types of greens, veggies and entrees. I love to serve it drizzled over this Arugula Salmon Salad with Israeli Couscous.
One ingredient you might not have in your pantry or refrigerator is fresh dill. Don't try to substitute the dry version, as it just won't be the same. The combination of fresh dill and lemon is such an amazingly fresh burst of summery flavor.
What's a good quality Dijon mustard?
You'll also want a good quality Dijon mustard for this Lemon Dill Dressing. What makes a mustard Dijon? And what's a "good quality Dijon"? So glad you asked!
Dijon mustard is named after the town of Dijon, in the Burgundy region of France. The area around Dijon has been a center of mustard making since the early Middle Ages. Dijon mustard traditionally consists of mustard seeds, white wine and spices. It has a tangy, more robust flavor than it's milder, yellow mustard cousin. The spicier flavor of Dijon comes from the brown and/or black mustard seeds that are used to make it. Yellow mustard seeds are much milder in flavor.
According to reviews from Cooking Light, Saveur, Serious Eats and Cooks Illustrated, some of the best Dijons in the world are Grey Poupon, Edmond Fallot (Thomas Keller's top pick) Maille, Amora (favorite mustard of David Lebovitz) and Pommery Meaux. Each one has different flavor characteristics, so you might want to try a few and then pick your own favorite. I personally love Maille. If you can find Maille mustard that's made in France, it's especially delicious. I used to stock up when visiting my daughter in London, but have recently discovered the French version on Amazon!
I've found that generic, grocery store brand Dijon mustards generally don't have great flavor. The one exception is Trader Joe's Dijon. It's actually made by a mustard maker (moutardier) right outside the city of Dijon in France. The TJ's mustard is made with brown mustard grains, which are left whole, rather than ground up, giving the mustard a nice texture and a bold flavor. It's delicious and very reasonably priced.
Why not olive oil?
When you read the recipe, for this Lemon Dill Dressing, you'll see that it calls for a mild-tasting oil (like sunflower, safflower, avocado, canola, grapeseed or vegetable oil). You might be wondering, why not olive oil? If you're a regular Café follower, you know that I love olive oil and use it in lots of recipes. I found that in this recipe, however, it seemed to fight with the lemon and Dijon flavors. If you have a very mild flavored olive oil, it will be fine. Otherwise, stick with one of the mild-flavored oils mentioned above.
So there you have it; a delightful salad dressing to get you through the hot months ahead. Keep a jar of this Lemon Dill Dressing stashed in the refrigerator and fresh, light dinners will be easy to prepare and enjoy any time!
Cafe Tips for making this Lemon Dill Dressing
- What to do with this Lemon Dill Dressing?
- Make our Arugula Salmon Salad with Israeli Couscous!
- It's delicious drizzled over grilled chicken, shrimp or fish
- Serve with any type of green salad.
- Drizzle it over roasted veggies like asparagus, carrots, green beans...
- It's delicious combined with chunky sliced cucumbers for a super simple salad.
- Combine a few tablespoons with cooked couscous or pearl pasta for a delicious side.
- Use it as a dipping sauce for warm focaccia or bread.
- I really like the big beautiful bunches of fresh dill that you find in the produce section of many larger grocery stores. The price is about the same as the small plastic cartons that you find at many stores and it's so much fresher. Several of my local grocers carry it this way. I also find these bunches of dill at Whole Foods.
- This dressing will keep well in the refrigerator for at least a week stored in an airtight container.
Thought for the day:
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.
With bright, fresh flavor, this easy Lemon Dill Dressing is perfect with greens and veggies as well as chicken, fish and shrimp!
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 medium garlic clove finely minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup mild-flavored oil sunflower, safflower, avocado, grapeseed, canola, vegetable
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
Whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, honey, garlic, salt and pepper until completely blended.
Add oil in a slow steady stream, whisking continuously until thick and creamy. Add dill and stir well.
Refrigerate until ready to use.