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Oil and Lemon Dressing #CookForJulia

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!

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Oil and Lemon Dressing
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Olive Oil and Lemon Dressing

A simple citrus dressing made with fresh lemon and olive oil. The recipe is adapted from one by Julia Child.
Course Salad Dressing
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Author Renee


  • 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


  1. 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.

Recipe Notes

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

Recipe Rating


Thursday 2nd of August 2012

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!


Friday 3rd of August 2012

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.


Thursday 2nd of August 2012

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.


Wednesday 1st of August 2012

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!

CJ at Food Stories

Wednesday 1st of August 2012

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


Tuesday 31st of July 2012

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 :)