It’s that time of year again. Meyer lemons are everywhere. Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter… Oh, and in grocery stores. Thought to be a cross between a lemon and possibly a Mandarin orange, Meyer lemons are a delight. They are less tart than their pure counterparts, and have a delightful floral quality that brings so much to dishes that they’re used in.
We’ve been enjoying them a lot lately. Last night we enjoyed this dressing, and I squeezed another whole lemon over sauteed chicken breasts. The juice that was created got mixed into egg noodles that I’d tossed with garlic and butter. I have one lemon left. Either I need to find something really special to do with it, or buy more. Last year I candied the zest to prolong the season, and used the resulting infused sugar syrup for cocktails clear into spring.
The addition of maple to this vinaigrette is a nod to the local bounty that we enjoy here. Year round, I can buy our favourite dark maple syrup from White Meadows Farms. If you are ever in Niagara, skip the overpriced, kitchy containers of maple syrup in the souvenir shops and plan a trip to the farm, where you can buy all things maple.
Obviously you can substitute any sweetener that you like in this. A floral honey would complement the delicate notes in the Meyer lemons quite nicely. And don’t limit this dressing to salads. If you freeze the juice and zest, you could serve this over summer grilled zucchini, or asparagus or green beans when they’re in season. Ooh, I may just treat us to some asparagus and do that for Easter.
Maple Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Juice and finely grated zest of one Meyer lemon
1 tablespoon maple syrup (dark if you can get it)
1 1/2 teaspoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons neutral oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, lemon juice, zest, maple syrup and vinegar. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking to emulsify the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Makes about 1/3 of a cup, depending on how juicy the lemon is. It will keep in the fridge for up to a week.