Why It Works
- Utilizing each lemon juice and zest provides the French dressing a brilliant, daring taste you possibly can’t get from juice alone.
- Dijon mustard helps the French dressing stay emulsified for an extended time.
- Shallots and honey add a refined sweetness and stability the citrus’s acidity.
Earlier than I left for a three-week trip this previous December, I frantically juiced all my lemons. I had 12 hours till my flight departed. My residence was a chaotic mess. I nonetheless wasn’t fully packed… and in some way, my largest precedence was freezing lemon juice. My logic: They’re costly and are available from distant, and I simply couldn’t abdomen the considered all of it going to waste.
There are lots of substances I can’t stay with out, however few are as versatile because the lemon. I depend on their juice to brighten up salads, pastas, and beverages, and so they have a starring position in my favourite lemon bars. What I make most with the fruit, nevertheless, is salad dressing. There aren’t many greens that don’t go effectively with the citrus, and maintaining a jar of this punchy lemon French dressing in my fridge means I can simply toss collectively a salad at a second’s discover. Plus: It lasts for a full month refrigerated, which implies I could make it forward so it’s all the time prepared for quick lunches and minimal-effort weeknight dinners.
This dressing is so simple it entails only one step—barely a recipe, actually. Merely stir collectively the lemon juice and zest, honey, garlic, shallot, and salt in a big nonreactive bowl, then step by step stream within the olive oil as you whisk continuously to emulsify. The result’s a creamy, invigorating French dressing that can even brighten up the dreary salad you will have picked up for lunch.
With brightness from each lemon juice and zest, this French dressing is a daring, bracing approach to costume leafy greens and tender herbs. As a result of lemon peel accommodates many aromatic phenolic compounds—water-soluble antioxidant molecules—the ensuing dressing is far more fragrant than when you have been to make use of lemon juice alone. A finely chopped shallot and contact of honey convey a refined sweetness that balances the lemon’s acidity and Dijon mustard’s spicy kick, whereas grated garlic lends a savory word.
The Significance of Emulsification in a French dressing
Like oil and water, oil and acidic liquids like vinegar and this dressing’s lemon juice don’t come collectively—or keep mixed—simply with no little assist from an emulsifier like mustard, mayonnaise, or an egg yolk.
Once you correctly emulsify dressing, you find yourself with a thick, creamy French dressing as a substitute of a skinny, runny sauce. However improved texture is not the one benefit of an emulsified French dressing: Your dressed salad will last more too. Kenji found as a lot when he put emulsified versus non-emulsified vinaigrettes to the test and located that greens wearing plain oil and vinegar wilted quicker than these wearing an emulsified French dressing. One among his helpful insights from this take a look at was that it was the oil—and never the vinegar—that wilted the leaves. By completely mixing the 2 into an emulsion, that wilting impact of the oil is lessened.
Within the recipe under, Dijon mustard is the emulsifier that helps the French dressing keep blended for longer. Even with an emulsifier, although, a French dressing will seemingly separate after sittingfor a number of hours. Simply give it a superb whisk or shake earlier than utilizing to convey all of it again collectively, and also you’re good to go. As Kenji says, your French dressing solely wants to remain certain lengthy sufficient so that you can get pleasure from your salad—and with this dressing recipe in your pocket, you’re prone to adore it even when it’s an in any other case sad-desk-lunch salad.
This recipe was developed by Marianne Williams and the headnote was written by Genevieve Yam.