Friday, January 11, 2013

Meyer Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

Driving home tonight was a little challenging.  We're in the middle of the first real winter storm of the season, you see.  It started this morning with a thick fog and freezing mist, so the roads were nice and slick.  Then, the snow came with high winds.  By the time I headed home, it was getting dark and visibility was low with white-out conditions for the last 5 miles.  It was great fun.  And, in between praying that I didn't end up driving in the ditch, I kept thinking about tonight's dinner and post.

With the storm howling around us and the bitter cold, you'd think I would be planning some kind of soup, or maybe a warm drink, but, no.  I was thinking of liquid sunshine.  Meyer lemon liquid sunshine to be exact. 

Today when I was at Walmart, I was surprised, but ecstatic to find that they had bags of Meyer lemons!  And, not just a few, either.  I was so tickled, I grabbed 3 bags, as I dreamed of lemon bars, lemon marmalade and lemon vinaigrette!  I admit, I'm a tad bit obsessed.  You would be, too, if you loved regular lemons, then tried Meyers.  I really can't find the right words to do them justice.  The flavor is so intense, the juice so sweet, you almost won't believe it's from a lemon, and the aroma is so fragrant, you can smell them through the plastic bag.  If you close your eyes, you would swear you were on some Mediterranean coast, with the breeze wafting powerful citrus notes from a nearby lemon grove.  Right about now, I wish that were true.  Instead, I'm here, blizzard blowing outside, sharing my recipe of liquid sunshine with you.  As my best friend put it, "They bring such brightness to our cold winter days."

Here's your Cast of Characters.

Zest from 3 Meyer lemons
1/3 Cup, each, Meyer lemon juice (3 lemons), olive oil and honey
1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 Teaspoon, each, kosher salt, minced garlic and fresh basil (or from the tube as I used)

In a small mixing bowl, zest lemons.

Add remaining ingredients.

Whisk well, until thoroughly combined.

It makes 1 cup of dressing, and it's thin, so a little goes a long way.  Refrigerate any extra in a shaker bottle - just shake well before using.

You might need to put on your sunglasses because it's so sunshiney!  And, I really wish they would invent scratch and sniff for the computer, because you would be drooling right now. 

Doesn't the salad look gorgeous on my beautiful plate?  It was a Christmas present from my friend, Michelle, and I adore it!

Enjoy, my friends!