Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette – A Tangy + Brightly Sweet Salad Dressing
For me to choose salad over other options, it’s gotta be great. I don’t eat “dry” salad. It needs a dressing that ties all the ingredients together perfectly. So you better believe I perfected this lemon vinaigrette before sharing it with you! This lemon dressing pairs well with berry-filled salads as well as those with peppery arugula.
I’m talking a sweet, tangy punch of flavor that shines. This vinaigrette isn’t a silent dressing, it is the star.
Lemon Dressing Recipe
I’m not kidding when I say this recipe takes five minutes to make. Squeezing the lemon takes more time than blending up the ingredients.
All you need to do for fresh salad dressing is measure the ingredients below into a blender or food processor, secure with a lid, then blend it up. Pour directly onto your salad or store in the fridge until you’re ready to us it.
Don’t have one of the ingredients listed? No problem! Swap honey for maple syrup, olive oil for avocado oil, cashews with soaked almonds or macadamia nuts.
A vinaigrette needs something acidic and an oil, while dressing is a broader term. A vinaigrette is typically used as a marinade or salad topper.
My recipe has Meyer lemon juice, honey, soaked cashews, sea salt, black pepper, olive oil and poppy seeds. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and tangy.
I recommend using this dressing within one week of mixing. The fresher, the better! And definitely give it a good shake before using.
Power Ingredient List
Fresh Meyer lemon juice– You can use a regular lemon, yet the sweetness and flavor of Meyer lemons in this vinaigrette are out of this world.
Honey– Local, raw, seasonal honey provides great health benefits (think allergy help) as well as unique flavor depending on the type of honey. Lemon dressing can be super tart, so honey helps keep the balance.
Olive oil– Use high quality olive oil when making dressing because you’ll taste it. This is the time to break into that gorgeous bottle you were gifted. #worthit
Cashews– A unique dressing ingredient and thickens up this recipe perfectly.
Poppy seeds– Provide a delicious flavor, slight crunch and a host of antioxidants.
Fresh vs Store-Bought Dressing
Have you ever found it a bit weird just how long store-bought dressing can stay ‘fresh’ in your fridge? Once I learned how easy it was to make dressing at home, I all but stopped buying it from the store. It’s super easy to make, and you probably have the basic ingredients on hand already.
If you want to buy your vinaigrette from the store then READ YOUR LABELS. Don’t be fooled by the healthy photos and pretty jars and instead make sure you can pronounce and recognize all the ingredients on the label.
Seasonal Salad Recipes
I’ve got a host of delicious salad recipes coming your way! The next time you’re in the mood for a plate of fresh plants, try one of these great recipes:
Salad doesn’t have to be boring, nor does it have to be your whole meal. Load it up with flavor and crunch, pair it with your favorite plant-based meal and fall in love with salad.
This bright and fresh dressing was originally created for my Strawberry Arugula Salad, yet can be used in a variety of Spring salads. Be sure to use fresh squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor.
- 2 tablespoon cashews (soaked for 1-4 hours)
- 2 tablespoon Meyer lemon (juiced)
- 1.5 teaspoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- dash ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1.5 teaspoon poppy seeds
Place cashews, Meyer lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper and olive oil in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add water if needed.
Mix in poppy seeds by hand. Refrigerate until ready to drizzle over salad.
- This dressing is best when fresh, use within one week of mixing.
- Swap honey with maple syrup to make this dressing vegan.
- If Meyer lemons aren’t available then use regular lemons.
- I created this dressing for my Strawberry Arugula Salad, yet you can use it on any salad!
Calories: 211kcal (11%) Carbohydrates: 9g (3%) Protein: 2g (4%) Fat: 19g (29%) Saturated Fat: 3g (19%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g Monounsaturated Fat: 13g Sodium: 293mg (13%) Potassium: 106mg (3%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 5g (6%) Vitamin A: 3IU Vitamin C: 8mg (10%) Calcium: 41mg (4%) Iron: 1mg (6%)