Lemon Creme Fraiche Salad Dressing (and my Tough Week)

lemon salad dressing

When it comes to cooking, I’ve had a doozy of a week. For meatless Monday I made baked falafel, substituting canned beans for dried — big mistake! They were way too moist and turned into chickpea pancakes in the oven. Strike one.

On Wednesday I used my only Greek cookbook (first recipe I’ve made out of it and I’ve owned the book for years) to make a baked lamb and pasta dish that was just so very, very disappointing. The pasta got all mushy and slimy. We could barely eat it. Geoff and I spent the whole dinner talking about what went wrong with the recipe, but there’s no way I’m going to try to doctor it up and make it again.

Thursday I made the leftover lamb into sandwiches slathered with tzatziki sauce (yumm!) but as a side dish made oven fries that stuck to the baking sheet and became a huge mess. Grrr!

Then Friday night I made Geoff a happy birthday pavlova for Saturday’s supper. I love pavlovas but haven’t baked one in years. We had guests coming on Saturday, berries were looking good at the store, so it seemed like it would be a great birthday treat. I baked it up, set it on the counter but noticed it slowly sinking as it cooled… I forgot to let it crisp up in the oven for an hour! Noooo! It was a gonner. I threw together a batch of so-so mini cupcakes in the morning.

How could I have so many cooking mishaps in one week? Well, among all the barely edible bad food I churned out this week, one thing, I’m happy to say, was amazing. And yes, it’s this salad dressing.

I remember seeing Jamie Oliver make this dressing on The Naked Chef (old school!), so I googled it and found a clip — hilarious seeing young Jamie! I whipped up this dressing and couldn’t be happier with it. Maybe I’ll stick to making salads next week.

Lemon Crème Fraiche Salad Dressing
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  1. 2 large lemons
  2. 1/2 cup crème fraiche
  3. Salt and pepper
  4. 1 medium garlic clove
  5. 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  6. 1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
  7. Romaine or other crispy lettuce leaves, washed
  1. Remove the zest from one of the lemons and chop it up finely. Then slice the lemons in half.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a hot skillet over medium-high heat and add the lemons cut side down. Cook until dark brown on the cut side. Then juice the lemons with a citrus juicer or by hand, being careful to strain out any seeds.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the lemon zest, creme fraiche, salt and pepper. Use a fine grater to grate in the garlic. Add mustard and lemon juice and then stir in the olive oil.
  4. Serve in a bowl on the side with crispy lettuce leaves, letting everyone dress their own salad.
Adapted from The Naked Chef, Jamie Oliver
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