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Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette

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Dress up your favorite salad with a Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette.  This salad dressing is a welcome alternative to your usual salad vinaigrette.  It is a tangy, citrusy blend with tiny bits of preserved lemon rind infused throughout.  If you are a lemon-lover and have a jar of preserved lemons hanging out in your fridge then this salad dressing is for you!  You are going to love this vinaigrette!

Bottle of preserved lemon vinaigrette and salad

Tangy and creamy preserved lemon vinaigrette!

Salad dressings and vinaigrettes are so simple to make and a huge cost savings as compared to the store-bought stuff.  Plus, you know they are healthier without a lot of sugar, additives, and preservatives.   This version of lemon vinaigrette is made with the rind of a preserved lemon.

Where can I buy Preserved Lemons?

If you have been blessed with a jar of preserved lemons you can make this simple vinaigrette in a matter of minutes.   Preserved lemons are a major ingredient used in Moroccan cuisine.  They are also used throughout the Middle East as they add brightness and flavor to so many of their traditional dishes.   

You will find jars of preserved lemons in Middle Eastern or International markets.  They are often found in local stores like World Market, Whole Foods and in Trader Joe’s.  You can also buy preserved lemons online

But why buy preserved lemons when you can make your own with a few lemons and a jar of salt.   It is an easy project that has huge rewards for very little cash outlay.   Check out our post on Preserved Lemons and we will show you how to make them yourself.  Preserved lemons will keep in the refrigerator for at least a year and may become one of your favorite ingredients.   

How to make Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette:

After the lemons have aged in the salt and lemon juice the rinds will be tender and have acquired a lovely flavor without the bitterness of fresh lemons.  The flesh inside of the lemon becomes slightly transparent with a soft, jam-like consistency.  The entire lemon is edible!  Except for the seeds of course.  

dish of preserved lemons, garlic, preserved lemons

Soft preserved lemons ready for vinaigrette

Most basic vinaigrettes can have the ingredients whisked together in a dish or added to a jelly jar and shaken.  We are using only the rind of one lemon for our vinaigrette and you will need a blender or food processor to get a smooth creamy consistency.  I love using my mini-food processor for this vinaigrette.

  • Rinse one preserved lemon under cold water, then pat dry with a paper towel. 
  • On a cutting board, cut the lemon into quarters and scrape the flesh out. Return the flesh to the jar of lemons for future use.
  • Cut the lemon rind into smaller pieces and place in the blender/processor. 
  • Add the grated garlic, lemon juice, honey and the white balsamic vinegar.  Process for 1-minute.
  • Pour the oil into the processor and blend the mixture for another 30-seconds until smooth and creamy.
  • Taste and season with a pinch of white pepper.
  • Transfer the vinaigrette to a glass jar or bottle with a lid and refrigerate until needed.

Notice that we did not include salt in our recipe.  The lemons will have absorbed enough salt to season the vinaigrette.  But, you should taste it.  If your taste buds tell you it needs more salt…then go for it.  Pour this incredible vinaigrette on your salad, toss and enjoy!  

Salad with preserved lemon vinaigrette being poured

Crisp green salad with preserved lemon vinaigrette!

How long will this preserved lemon vinaigrette keep?

Ahh…That is the big question!  If kept in a lidded glass container in the refrigerator it will last for two weeks.    But I am positive you are going to love this vinaigrette so much that it will not last long at all.   You will be finding all sorts or ways to incorporate it into your recipes.  Here are a few ideas…..

Use this incredible preserved lemon vinaigrette in any tossed green salad.  It is also awesome on a pasta salad!  Use it to flavor sautéed or steamed vegetables and drizzle it over grilled fish.  Be creative!

SOME OTHER RECIPES WE ARE SURE YOU WILL LOVE:

  • Simple Tahini Dressing:  A creamy, smooth, lemony dressing with a hint of nuttiness from the tahini. There are only 6 ingredients and you can make it in less than 5 minutes.
  • Greek Salad Dressing:  Greek salad dressing combines the simple everyday flavors of fresh veggies, oil, lemon and dried oregano with a big punch of flavor from Greek feta cheese. 
  • Blue Cheese Salad Dressing:  A thick, creamy and tangy salad dressing with an intense blue cheese taste.

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Bottle of preserved lemon vinaigrette and salad

Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette

Yield: 2 Cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Dress up your favorite salad with a Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette. This salad dressing is a welcome alternative to your usual salad vinaigrette. It is a tangy, citrusy blend with tiny bits of preserved lemon rind infused throughout. 

Ingredients

  • Lemon rind of one preserved lemon
  • 2 clove garlic, grated
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup Light olive oil or mild-flavored oil
  • Pinch of fresh ground white peppercorns (or black peppercorns)

Instructions

    1. Remove one preserved lemon from the jar and rinse it under the cold water tap.  Pat dry with a paper towel. 
    2. Place the lemon on a cutting board and cut it into quarters.  With a teaspoon scrape the flesh from each section of the lemon.  Return the scraped flesh to the jar of lemons for a future use.
    3. Cut the lemon rind into smaller pieces and place in the blender/processor.  Add the grated garlic, lemon juice, honey and the white balsamic vinegar.  Process for 1-minute.
    4. Add the oil to the processor and blend the mixture for another 30-seconds until smooth and creamy.
    5. Taste and season with a pinch of white pepper.
    6. Transfer the vinaigrette to a glass jar or bottle with a lid and refrigerate until needed.

Notes

  • Be sure to rinse the lemon with cold water before using.
  • Do not discard the scraped flesh of the preserved lemon, return it to the jar for another use.
  • White balsamic vinegar has a touch of natural sweetness.  Alternatives are apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar.
  • White or black pepper can be used, we like the white pepper as it does not leave black specks in the vinaigrette.
  • Add salt with caution as the preserved lemon has absorbed salt.
  • This vinaigrette will keep in a glass, lidded container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  • The vinaigrette does not separate but stays creamy

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 133Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 23mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Mahy

Thursday 5th of September 2019

Now this is the dressing I was craving. The consistency, the color and the ingredients - everything looks great. Great tip on the lidded glass container!

Pat Nyswonger

Thursday 5th of September 2019

Thank you for your comments, Mahy....this is easy and really tasty!

Danielle Wolter

Thursday 5th of September 2019

this vinaigrette was definitely made for me! I always have preserved lemons in my fridge - I definitely have to try this!

Pat Nyswonger

Thursday 5th of September 2019

Thanks, Danielle....you will love this vinaigrette!

Adrianne

Thursday 5th of September 2019

I can see this vinaigrette being used for so many recipes!! Yum, it looks fantastic, well done.

Pat Nyswonger

Thursday 5th of September 2019

Thank you Adrianne...it is a versatile vinaigrette!

Cathy

Thursday 5th of September 2019

This vinaigrette sounds delicious! I will definitely be looking out for preserved lemons at Whole Foods for sure! I bet this is delicious on chicken breasts too!

Pat Nyswonger

Thursday 5th of September 2019

Hi, Cathy...I have not tried the vinaigrette on chicken but thanks for reminding me.. It is on my to-do list!

Adriana

Thursday 5th of September 2019

This is my kind of dressing I enjoy preserved lemons, in fact, I have two jars at home ready to use, so I will make this dressing no later than today yummy!

Pat Nyswonger

Thursday 5th of September 2019

Hi, Adriana....This is a really delish vinaigrette! Thanks for your comments.

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