Love vinaigrettes and a good creamy dressing? This creamy citrus vinaigrette salad is a beautiful balance of both! The vinaigrette is perfectly tangy and filled with all the bright citrusy note of lime, lemon, and orange. Perfect for all season!
Happy New Years everyone! And so for 2021, we are starting off with a nice salad that we all love, not just enduring because we started our new year resolution, lol. We are absolutely going to try and eat healthier and workout more, as we always strive to do for our new year resolution, hopefully, more consistent this year, haha.
Did you guys make a new years resolution list? What are your goals?
Well, we can't ask for more. We are taking one recipe at a time to be mindful of our health all while still indulging our tastebuds because nurturing our souls are very important as well, especially for us foodies.
So, we thank you for joining us on a new year of culinary journey and hope you guys enjoy the recipe! And now, let's dive into the year with the healthy but still delish, creamy citrus vinaigrette salad!
What is a vinaigrette?
Vinaigrette is an emulsification of oil, vinegar, and seasonings, usually used as salad dressings or marinades. Typically, vinaigrettes are olive oil based, but you can really use any oil you desire, just keep in mind that neutral flavored oils are more favored because they are less likely to overshadow the star of your dish.
Now with that said, this creamy citrus vinaigrette is more of a dressing than a vinaigrette, since there's also sour cream and mayo to thicken and add creaminess to it.
Soaking onions in vinegar
When I first heard about soaking onions in vinegar, I was very curious of the reason. Kyong enlightened me and explained that the purpose of this trick is to reduce the onion's natural spiciness and pungent flavor, all while "pickling" the onion, which gives it more flavor. I thought this trick was ingenious, especially when the vinegar can be used in the end product!
Types of vinegar to use for this vinaigrette
As we all know, different vinegars have different flavors. White distilled vinegars are of course the safest vinegar to use if you want to keep true to the vinegar flavor and no more. However, if you're out of white vinegar or simply don't care for it, feel free to substitute it for rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar. Both works beautifully with this vinaigrette ...and adds an extra hint of complexity!
Is mayo and sour cream a must?
For this creamy citrus vinaigrette recipe, yes. Both the mayo and the sour cream is a must. Sour cream has its unique tartness and lightness that mayo cannot provide, and mayo helps balance the acid of the entire vinaigrette along with giving the nice touch of creaminess to the entire salad. However, you can substitute the sour cream for creme fraiche. It will give the dressing a bit more creaminess as well.
Are all 3 zests necessary?
To use all the zest or not is THE question. This one is more of a personal preference. We, personally, enjoy this vinaigrette more when we use all three zests, or at least the orange and either the lime or lemon. The lemon and the lime zests both provide their unique flavors, but more importantly, their similar tangy, slightly bitter, and a young citrusy note. On the other hand, orange zests provide a sweet and very aromatic, ripe summer citrus flavor.
Use the right type of lettuce
One of the most important, but also flexible, ingredients for the salad is the lettuce. We highly recommend using small heads of lettuce, like artisan lettuce and gem lettuce. If these smaller lettuces are not available near your, you can also use regular leaf, romaine, or butter lettuce. Just make sure to cut these larger lettuces into more-convenient-to-eat size wedges. You can of course also chop your lettuce into small bite size pieces and enjoy it as a regular tossed salad, but these lettuce halves just look so much cuter and fun to eat.
The secret to thin yet firm and crisp radish
Have you ever wonder how those thinly sliced radishes at restaurants stay so firm and crisp on your salads? Well, the secret is a trusty mandoline and some cold water. After thinly slicing the radishes on a mandoline, or by hand if you want to challenge yourself, rinse the radish slices a couple of times to remove the excess color. Then, soak the radishes in cold water for at least 15 minutes up to 4 days. You'll see that the radish looks a bit more translucent and becomes firm and crisp.
If you're looking for more small bites, you may like these:
- Instant Pot Chicken Taquitos
- Spinach Pesto Flatbread
- Soufflé Omelette with Special Tomato Sauce
- Watermelon Grilled Peach Salad
Cook with love!
If you’ve made this recipe or any recipes from our blog, please tag us on Instagram using #twoplaidaprons! You can also tag us in your Instagram stories using @two_plaid_aprons. We would love to see your creations! It absolutely makes our day! 🥰
Creamy Citrus Vinaigrette Salad
For the creamy citrus vinaigrette (dressing):
- 1 Tablespoon yellow onion or shallot , finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoon white vinegar (or 30mL)
- ¼ cup mayonnaise (or 58g)
- ¼ cup sour cream (or 61g)
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil , EVOO or regular (or 30mL)
- 1 Tablespoon honey (or 21g)
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (or 15mL)
- 1 Tablespoon parsley , minced (leaves only)
- ½ orange , zested
- ½ lemon , zested
- ½ lime , zested
For the salad:
- 2 head artisan romaine lettuce , washed (or any lettuce around 6 inches long)
- 2 radish , thinly sliced (optional for garnish)
- Pistachio , roughly chopped (optional for garnish)
- Combine the finely chopped yellow onion or shallot into a mixing bowl with the vinegar. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes to help remove some spiciness from the onion/ shallot.
- While the onion/ shallot marinate, cut the 2 heads of lettuce in half, long ways. Dry off any excess water as needed.
- Once the 10 minutes have passed, add the remaining ingredients for the vinaigrette and whisk until well combined. Use the dressing immediately by drizzling it over the lettuce halves or cover and store it in the fridge for up to 1 week, just give it a good mix before using.
- Dress the salad with some freshly sliced radish and a sprinkle of chopped pistachios. Enjoy!
- The vinaigrette dressing in this recipe is perfect for 2 small heads of lettuce, halved, dressed normally. If you prefer to have more dressing per half lettuce, just double the recipe.
- Vinegar substitute: If you don't have any white vinegar in your pantry, feel free to substitute it for either rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar. Both works beautifully.
- Radish: If you are adding some nice thinly sliced radish to your salad, here's a cool tip: soak them in cold water! Soaking sliced radish in cold water helps keep them firm, crisp, and fresh longer. To slice radishes super thin or any vegetables super thin, we highly recommend investing in a good mandoline. They are very handy to have.