My name is Mary.  I love cooking healthy food for family & friends, making specialty coffee, wine tasting, finding great beauty products, traveling, and organizing everything. I document it all here! xo

meyer lemon + shallot vinaigrette

meyer lemon + shallot vinaigrette

{dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free, plant-based}

Meyer lemons are in typically in season between late fall and the early spring.  During this time, I buy an eight pound bag each week from the vendor at my local farmer's market.  In the winter months, I love to squeeze their juice and zest their peel over roasted root vegetables.  In the spring, I use them in salads along with a little olive oil and salt and pepper; their flavor is so sweet and bright, they don't need much accompaniment.  Right now, I am on sadly my last bag of Meyer lemons for the seasonThis recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Vegetable Literacy, by Deborah Madison.  It is simple and allows the flavors of the Meyer lemon to shine. 

Meyer lemons are a hybrid between a traditional lemon and and a mandarin orange.  Theyoriginated in China as decorative house plants.  In the 1900s, an American agricultural explorer named Frank N. Meyer, founded them and brought them back to the States.  They flew relatively under the radar, because they were difficult to transport without tearing their thin, delicaate skin. However, they made a resurgence when Martha Stewart begin featuring them in her recipes (thank you Martha!).

Meyer lemons have all the benefits of regular lemons, without the acidity, much more juice and a sweeter taste.  They are high in vitamin C and potassium, and can help support a healthy immune system.  They also aide with digestion--try drinking a glass of warm lemon water first thing in the morning!


In this recipe, it's important to allow the shallot to marinate in the lemon juice before adding the olive oil.  The lemon juice breaks down the shallot and gives it a more neutral (less onion-y) taste.  If shallots bother your stomach or aren't your thing, just leave them out--this dressing is excellent when paired with olive oil and some salt and pepper.  The Dijon mustard can be optional as well.  If you have extra herbs lying around, thyme would be a welcome addition! 

Total: 15 minutes | Prep: 5 minutes | Rest time: 10 minutes | Makes about 1/2 cup


jar or container for dressing storage

whisk or fork


measuring spoons

salad bowl and serving spoons



*1 shallot, thinly diced

zest of 1 Meyer lemon

2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice (about one small lemon)

sea salt to taste

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)

5 tablespoons high quality olive oil



1.  Combine shallot, lemon zest, juice and salt in a small bowl or jar.  Whisk the ingredients together and allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes at room temperature.  

2.  Add the olive oil and Dijon mustard, and emulsify with a whisk or fork.  Enjoy with your favorite lettuce!



*If shallots bother your stomach, you can leave them out and the dressing will still be sensational!

**If you have some thyme (no pun intended), a couple teaspoons would be a great addiition. 

savory chia and flax bread

savory chia and flax bread

tasseled tissue paper garland

tasseled tissue paper garland