Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy Lemon Dance

I was absentmindedly strolling through Wal Mart last week when a bright yellow produce display caught my eye.  I could hardly believe my eyes - an entire bin of Meyer Lemons - in Wal Mart !?!  The food blog world has been buzzing about this delightful fruit for months and I have been on the lookout for Meyer Lemons for weeks.  There they were - right in front of me - calling my name.  I actually did a little happy dance in my head right there in the middle of the Wal Mart produce section.  (At least I thought the dancing was in my mind because as I placed the bag of lemons in my cart, I realized that I was getting some pretty strange looks from the other produce shoppers.)  I wanted to buy a cart full of lemons but I limited myself to one bag since I really didn't even know what I was going to make with them.

Meyer Lemons are a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange.  There are tons of Meyer Lemon recipes on the internet.  From what I've read, you can use them almost interchangeably with regular lemons.  The Meyer Lemons were noticeably smaller than their lemon counterparts and they have a slight orange hue.   Out of curiosity, I sliced one in half as soon as I got them home.  They looked really sweet and juicy so I tasted it - definitely a lemon!  It was a little sweeter than a traditional lemon but it still had a nice sour bright taste. 

Now that I was the proud owner of my very own bag of Meyer Lemons, I had to decide which recipes were worthy of my precious lemons.  I want to try Meyer Lemon Ricotta Almond muffins and a Meyer Lemon Roasted Chicken but the first thing that I decided to make was a simple Meyer Lemon vinaigrette.  What better way to truly enjoy this delightful fruit than whisked into a little olive oil and vinegar and drizzled over a green salad?  I didn't follow a recipe but I combined a few of my favorite salad dressing ingredients to create this vinaigrette.

Meyer Lemon vinaigrette
zest and juice of 2 Meyer lemons
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
fresh ground black pepper

I whisked together all of my vinaigrette ingredients in a shallow bowl and viola!...Meyer Lemon dressing.   This dressing was crazy good - I may never buy bottled salad dressing again.

I put together a quick salad (lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, yellow peppers, spiced pecans and blue cheese) and drizzled my dressing over the top. 

I can't remember the last time I was that excited to dig into a salad.  It was so good.  It's worth buying a bag of Meyer Lemons just to make this vinaigrette. 

If you are lucky enough to come across some Meyer Lemons in the grocery store - go ahead and buy yourself a bag.  (Just be careful not to do your happy dance until you get home.)  I'm starting my own little collection of Meyer Lemon recipes so if you have a great Meyer Lemon recipe - please send it to me. Also, if you like this post, you can share it with your facebook friends by clicking on the "recommend" link on the right side of the page. 


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