Lemon Olive Oil Salad Dressing

With summer upon us this fresh lemon olive oil salad dressing is guaranteed to jazz up your favorite greens!

Our lemon tree is currently overflowing with fruit so we're using as many as we can in both savory and sweet dishes. This means lots of salad dressings, hummus, bean salad, fish, and cakes and cookies!

But our favorite is salad. And the greens this year have been incredible so it's a win win.

lemon olive oil salad dressing

How to Make Lemon Olive Oil Salad Dressing

This recipe uses high-quality extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest, anchovies, a little bit of sugar or honey, and a generous dash of salt and freshly cracked black pepper. It's super simple and comes together in less than five minutes.

Fish out a jar that can hold at least 1/2 cup of liquid and has a secure screw top, you'll need to shake the jar later. Finely chop the anchovies and place them into the jar. Then cover with the freshly squeezed lemon juice, zest, EVOO, sugar or honey, and salt and pepper.

Screw the lid on tight and shake for at least one minute. We like to let the dressing sit at room temperature for one hour and then shake well again just before serving the salad. However, if time doesn't allow, you can serve immediately.

lemon olive oil dressing

What Kind of Greens Should I Use?

So the fun thing about this lemon olive oil salad dressing is you don't have to stick to any particular greens. It plays particularly well with the standard greens like romaine and arugula. However, it's really fun to use it as the dip for a crudite board. Especially with blanched string beans, cauliflower, radishes, and potatoes.

And speaking of potatoes, you could totally use it as a sauce for cold potato salad. The flavors work super well for spring and summer which means most cold salads are fair game.

Honey or Sugar?

Honestly, this is up to you. Sugar offers a cleaner sweetness while honey offers a bit more depth, however, it can change the flavor of the dressing. If you love the flavor of honey and lemon together then this might be the best option for you.

This lemon olive oil salad dressing really needs a bit of sweetness because the zest and juice are tart and can be slightly bitter. The sweetness helps to take some of that out and round out the flavor profiles of all the ingredients.

It won't taste sweet, but rather, slightly less bitter. The sweetener also won't take away from the flavors of the other ingredients. The most important thing is to shake the jar thoroughly to make sure all the granules have fully dissolved.

lemon olive oil salad dressing

Is it Better to Use an Immersion Blender to Prevent Separating?

You can use an immersion blender if you want. It would certainly help with the separation of the ingredients temporarily and blend the anchovies down to a nice texture. If you're going to blend then there's no need to finely chop anything.

I guess it comes down to, do you want to do more dishes when you can shake a jar? Personally, no. However, it is a nice touch if you're entertaining!

How Far Ahead Can You Make This?

Since this recipe contains fresh EVOO, we recommend making it the same day you plan on making the salad. However, if you're hosting, especially a large party that isn't always possible.

You can make this recipe up to 4 days ahead of time and store it in an air tight container, mason jars work great, in the fridge.

Related: What Happens When You Refrigerate Olive Oil?

How Long Can You Store It For?

Technically, you can store this dressing for up to four days in the fridge. But we recommend using it ASAP.

Other recipes you might like...

A Super Simple and Tasty Dressing

Fresh Tomato Salad

Hey, we wrote a cookbook and guide called The Olive Oil Enthusiast, have you ordered it yet?

If you make this recipe please let a comment and let us know! We love to hear from you. If you’re on Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok don’t forget to tag us and use #EXAUoliveoil so we can repost!

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Explore high-quality Italian olive oil with well-balanced flavor profiles guaranteed to enhance any dish. EXAU oils are exclusively produced in Calabria, Italy with fruit grown along the Ionian coast on family-owned properties.

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