No peeling, no juicing, no zesting, no problem!
Lemon Vinaigrette
Credit: Getty / Mariha-kitchen

I love a great citrus vinaigrette. Whether I am tossing it with a salad of bitter chicories and creamy goat cheese or drizzling it over hot baby potatoes for a punchy side dish or spooning it over fish, chicken, pork, and even grilled scallops to serve as a great sauce, a citrus vinaigrette is a workhorse condiment that goes way beyond just salad.

But here's where the technique of a homemade citrus vinaigrette bogs me down: I often don't really have the bandwidth to add zesting, peeling, and juicing to my program just to get a salad on the table.

The great citrus vinaigrette shortcut 

Then I realized, if I am using both the zest and the juice, really all I need to do is get rid of the seeds and I could just use the whole fruit! Making the dressing in a blender adds all the ease and time saving I could want, and this basic vinaigrette was born! Welcome to the world's easiest citrus vinaigrette.

How to make Whole Citrus Vinaigrette

When looking for citrus, look for small fruits about 2 inches across that are unblemished and feel heavy for their size. Give them a rinse under warm water and remove the stem if present (and any stickers!) before using.

Whole Citrus Vinaigrette

1 washed whole small citrus (a small lemon, lime, blood orange, or tangerine all work well) with the peel left on, cut into quarters or eighths with seeds removed 

2 shallots, quartered

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon honey

Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

½-¾ cup neutral oil like canola, avocado, or grapeseed

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place the fruit in your blender or food processor and pulse until the larger chunks have broken down and the juice has begun to be released.

2. Add the shallot and pulse until well combined.

3. Add the mustard and honey and turn the blender on and drizzle the oil in slowly as the blender goes until emulsified.

4. Taste and season for salt and pepper and adjust with more oil if too intense for you.

Once made, you can change up the flavor by adding chopped fresh herbs, capers, roasted garlic, miso paste, or other flavors.