I know you’re groaning about now…oh, no! More citrus…at least this time it’s lemon. And this is using my favorite, Meyer lemons. The vanilla is surprisingly good in a vinaigrette. We don’t use vanilla enough in savory things. This will change all that! This is a pretty basic vinaigrette, acid, oil and flavorings. But there’s nothing ordinary about it. It’s refreshing, with a clean, sharp bite. But, the sharpness is tempered with the sweet from the vanilla and honey. To remove the seeds from a vanilla bean, slit the bean lengthwise, with the tip of your sharp knife. Then slid the knife tip down the length of the bean, collecting the seeds on the tip, as you go. Stir the beans into the vinegar. I cut the now empty pods into thirds, drop them in either the vinegar or the oil and heat the in the microwave for about 30 seconds. It will be hot; let it set for about 5 minutes until the mixture cools slightly. Remove the beans; squeeze them gently, to remove as much flavor as possible. Add the vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, grated shallot, vanilla bean paste, salt and pepper in the bowl with the vanilla bean scrapings. Combine the oils and pour very slowly into the vinegar mixture, whisking constantly until thickened slightly. I pour the vinaigrette into a jar; give it a good shake and chill for at least 3 hours to allow the flavors to blend. This keeps well, at least 10 days and gets better as it stands. I love it on arugula, shrimp or crab salad and on a chopped, cabbage salad or slaw, which is what I served tonight. I make this type of salad when I’m feeling “crunchy” but don’t want a creamy-type slaw. I used about 5-6 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, to about 4-5 cups chopped veggies (cabbage, shredded carrot, snow peas, radish, cucumber and scallions), toss and serve!
Lemon-Vanilla Vinaigrette with Champagne Vinegar
- 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
- 1 vanilla bean, stripped of seeds
- Grated zest from 1 lemon (I love Meyer lemon)
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 2-4 teaspoons honey
- 2 tablespoons grated shallot or onion
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or more to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup neutral oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Slit the vanilla bean and open the bean like a book. Using the tip of the knife, slide the knife (dull-side down) the length of the bean, scraping out the seeds. Place the seeds in a bowl. Cut the bean into thirds; place in a glass measuring cup. Pour the vinegar over the bean; microwave for 30 seconds. Let stand until the vinegar cools. Using your fingers, squeeze the bean; discard (or place in the oil, heat and let stand). Add the vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, grated shallot, vanilla bean paste, salt and pepper in the bowl with the vanilla bean scrapings. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Combine the oils; slowly whisk into the vinegar mixture, until thoroughly combined. Pour into a jar; shake and chill for at least 3 hours to allow the flavors to blend. Store in the fridge; will keep for at least 7-10 days.
Lemon-Vanilla Vinaigrette with Champagne Vinegar Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2018. All rights reserved.