Oil and Lemon Dressing #CookForJulia

by Renee on July 31, 2012

Oil and Lemon Dressing

Julia Child’s 100th birthday will be August 15, 2012. Fans of Julia, chefs, bloggers, and people all over the world are celebrating her birthday by cooking her recipes. I am one of those fans and bloggers. Julia inspired me from the first time I saw her on PBS. Her show lead the way for so many in the world of food. Now there are whole television networks dedicated to food.

Julia’s legacy is being honored with tributes. PBS has their #CookForJulia celebration from August 5th through 15th. I am early posting this but I wanted to share a simple recipe you can make during the event. The oil and lemon dressing is quick and easy to make. It is versatile and can be used on many foods. I can see it as a marinade for grilled vegetables or something to drizzle over seafood. It is more than just a salad dressing.

Julia’s recipe calls for minced lemon peel. I used a microplane to grate the zest instead. I also made it in a blender because it is the method I use for dressing. The essence of the recipe is still there. There are few ingredients and the freshness stands out. I strongly recommend using a high quality and fresh oil (I used premium extra virgin olive oil). You can also use avocado oil if you want an oil with a milder or lighter taste. You can find the original recipe in Julia’s The Way to Cook cookbook:

Did you watch Julia Child on PBS? Do you have a favorite episode? It is hard for me to pick one as there were so many I thoroughly enjoyed. I will be sharing more Julia-inspired recipes in the next week – stay tuned!

Cook For Julia Teal Logo #CookForJulia

Olive Oil and Lemon Dressing

Olive Oil and Lemon Dressing

  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (extra-virgin or high quality)
  • Fresh ground pepper

In a small bowl, add the lemon zest and salt. Mash it into a paste using a pestle or spoon. Transfer the paste to a blender. Add the mustard and lemon juice and blend on high to combine. Slowly pour in the olive oil while blending on low speed. Add additional salt and/or pepper to taste and blend on low speed. Transfer dressing to a serving container. Serve at room temperature. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.


Adapted from "The Way To Cook" cookbook by Julia Child.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Baker Street July 31, 2012 at 7:55 am

Great event, Renee! Can’t wait to see all your delicious posts. I love the simplicity of this recipe!


Renee July 31, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Thank you so much. I am very excited about Julia’s 100th birthday celebration.


amy @ fearless homemaker July 31, 2012 at 8:31 am

i absolutely love lemon in anything (as you probably know!) so this sounds fantastic to me. on a related note: isn’t the microplaner a great tool? i use mine all the time!


Renee July 31, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Oh yes! I love my microplaner and could not imagine what it would be like without it. Such a handy tool in the kitchen.


Jen @ Juanita's Cocina July 31, 2012 at 11:06 am

I’m making this tonight!

My favorite Julia episode was…geez, how do I pick??? There was one where she was trying to flip a cake I think, and it didn’t work out so well, and she was SO gracious! She sort of said, “Hey, nothing works out all of the time!”

LOL! Love Julia!


Renee July 31, 2012 at 3:40 pm

What I loved about Julia’s show was that everything was not always perfect and she went with it. I believe it made cooking even more approachable when people at home could see the real things that happen in the kitchen – even with professional chefs on TV.


Helene @ French Foodie Baby July 31, 2012 at 12:35 pm

This is a classic and very healthy French vinaigrette recipe I use for my toddler and family all the time. (I’m a French expat in Us) Love Julia Child’s legacy. Thank you for sharing


Renee July 31, 2012 at 3:42 pm

It is so light and fresh. It really highlights whatever you use it on or with.


Chris July 31, 2012 at 3:26 pm

That is luvly … I would say!


Renee July 31, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Thank you very much Chris!


Liz July 31, 2012 at 8:05 pm

My mom would make this simple, delicious dressing, too…I never knew she got it from Julia. I made her tarte tatin and had the same tweak with the lemon peel…the kitchen rasp makes this so much easier :)


CJ at Food Stories August 1, 2012 at 9:51 am

This recipe looks so simple & easy … Love, love, love Julia :-)


Sasha August 1, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Oh, this is going into Evernote! Thanks Renee! I’ve been doing a “summer salad challenge” this summer – 12 salads in 12 weeks – and I’m realizing I really need some “stock” dressing recipes. This looks tasty!


Autumn August 2, 2012 at 9:51 am

Yum! My husband and I typically just squeeze lemon slices over our salads, but I have noticed that it is missing something. The oily goodness, the pepper, the mustard – all things that make any dish taste better :) Thanks for sharing! I’m definitely going to give this one a try.


Andrea August 2, 2012 at 5:46 pm

I didn’t watch Julia on PBS but I did watch and like the movie w/ Meryl Streep. (does that count) So I think it’s neat you will be kinda doing the same thing? I like recipes that are simple so this one is a hit!


Renee August 3, 2012 at 8:47 am

Watching anything regarding Julia Child counts. I will not be cooking all the recipes from the book as in the movie. Only selected ones for the Cook For Julia event.


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