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Lemon and Lime Vinaigrette

Makes about ¾ cup

Time 5 minutes

An all-purpose vinaigrette, especially wonderful for salads or warm dishes that contain fish.  Lemon and lime juices are less acidic than vinegar, so you can use them in higher proportions.  Do not make this dressing more than an hour or so in advance: lemon and lime juices lose their flavor much more quickly than vinegar.

  • 1 teaspoon minced or grated lemon or lime zest
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, more if needed
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more if needed

Mix the zest, and juice briefly with an immersion blender, food processor or blender, or fork or wire whisk.  Slowly add the oil in a stream (drop by drop if whisking) until an emulsion forms.

Add the remaining oil faster, but still in a stream.  Taste and add more oil if needed.  Let sit to develop flavor: if you are serving this immediately, you may want to add a bit more lemon juice to sharpen the flavor.

  • Lemon or Lime Thyme Vinaigrette: Add ½ teaspoon finely minced fresh thyme to the vinaigrette.
  • Lemon or Lime Dill Vinaigrette: Add 2 teaspoons finely minced dill; this should sit for about 15 minutes in order for the flavor to develop.
  • Lemon or Lime Onion Vinaigrette: Add 1 small onion, minced; again, this is best if it sits for 15 minutes or so before serving.
  • Orange Vinaigrette: Any of the above recipes can be made with orange as well, but some lemon juice or vinegar must be added or the flavor will not be sharp enough. Start with ¼ cup orange juice plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice and proceed from there.

Bonus:  Finely chopped vine-ripened tomatoes and finely chopped cucumber mixed together with equal parts of lemon and lime juice; let sit for 24 hours, then use as a marinate on fish & meat or as salad dressing.