Citrus Zest Vinaigrette

Makes about 1/4 cup.

Note: The California winter brings a sweet confusion of citrus fruits. This vinaigrette can use up a little of all of those grapefruit, kumquat, clementine, Meyer lemon and tangerine rinds if you have them, but it is also remarkably good with just lemon and orange zests. It’s perfect poured over a platter of sliced avocados with peeled and sliced oranges or roasted beets. From “Twelve Recipes,” by Cal Peternell.

• 1 tsp. zest (lemon, orange, lime, grapefruit, etc.)

• 1 tbsp. small-diced shallot

• 2 tsp. lemon or orange juice

• 1 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 3 tbsp. olive oil


The citrus zest has to be in very tiny pieces for this dressing, and there are a couple of ways to accomplish this. One is to use a vegetable peeler to cut strips of skin from the fruit, line up the strips and cut them into little sticks, and then line up the sticks and cut them into tiny bits.

Another is to use the smallest holes on the box grater and then go over the gratings with a knife. Or, if you must, use a microplane (which, for the author, creates too feathery an effect —he like little bits, not microbits). Mix the shallot, citrus juice, vinegar, salt and pepper with the zest, and let sit for 5 minutes to marinate the shallot. Stir in the oil.

Other uses: Spoon this dressing over boiled vegetables or grilled or baked fish fillets.