Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette
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salad with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette
A light and refreshing dressing.

We have a bunch of dill to use. Literally, a bunch from our last CSA share, and, for us, it’s difficult to use it all before it goes bad. The last time we picked up a bunch in our shares, we had to dry about half of it before it went bad. We don’t mind drying the dill; it’s a good way to have some later in the year, but we also like to eat our fresh food while it’s fresh. This week we came up with a couple of ways to use the fresh dill; a simple vinaigrette is the first.

If we’re having salads, we always just whip up a fresh dressing to go with. It takes maybe 10 minutes, only has a few ingredients, and pretty much everything can be varied to suit your taste. All you need to remember is about 1 part vinegar or acidic juice, 2 parts oil. (Yes, we know that the traditional proportion is 1 part vinegar and three parts oil, but we like ours better. It’s a bit more tart and lighter.) So, with that in mind, let’s scratch out a Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette.

Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

Yield: 2-3 servings

Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette


  • Juice from 1/2 lemon (1-2 tablespoons)
  • 1 Tbs white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp minced scallion
  • 1/2 Tbs minced fresh dill
  • Large pinch kosher salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 3-4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch sugar (optional)

Abbreviated Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until emulsified, about 1 minute. If dressing is too tart, add a pinch of sugar and whisk in. Pour over salad.


Ingredient discussion:

We used a Meyer lemon and really recommend them, but they can be difficult to find, so feel free to use a regular lemon. Or use another citrus. Lime would be nice, or even a combination of lemon and lime. Just be sure to use freshly- squeezed juice. The stuff in the bottles taste off, sort of metallic-y, something that won’t go with your salad. Don’t have scallions? Use a bit of shallot, a bit of red onion, even a bit of garlic. Don’t have extra-virgin olive oil? Use a light neutral oil, such as canola. Don’t have fresh dill? Make another kind of vinaigrette.

Procedure in detail:

making lemon-dill vinaigrette
We find that it doesn’t matter if you stream in the oil while whisking or just put it in and whisk. Either works.

Prep. This vinaigrette is all about prep. Juice the lemon and strain it into a small bowl (we use a measuring cup with a spout, but we also have a tiny whisk that fits inside). Strip the dill fronds from the tough stems and chop finely. Ditto for the scallion.

lemon-dill vinaigrette
A minute of whisking, and, see, emulsified.

Combine and whisk. Put all the ingredients in with the lemon juice — yes, we know that some people suggest that you slowly add oil while whisking, and, yes, you can do that, but we find it doesn’t really matter — and whisk until emulsified, about a minute. Give the dressing a taste by dipping a piece of lettuce leaf into it. If it’s too tart, add a pinch sugar and whisk to combine. Immediately dress a salad of your choice.

Once you see how easy it is to make simple vinaigrette dressings, and how fresh they taste, you’ll never want to buy the stuff in bottles again. We liked the tartness of the dressing — it contrasted nicely with the sweet dried apricots we had on our salad — and we like that this is a lighter version of most vinaigrette dressings. And, lemon and dill is such a great combination, making it seem as if spring is around the corner. Easy, tasty, and five stars.
Worth the trouble?

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