After reading the title of this recipe, you’re probably thinking that I’ve finally cracked.
Lemonade in salad dressing?!, you ask. Yes; I’m telling you, it just works.
The idea really isn’t so different from a vinaigrette (which is made with vinegar instead of lemon for acidity) that’s sweetened with a bit of sugar, honey, or even fruit preserves. (I know using fruit preserves to sweeten vinaigrette might also sound strange, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! To name just one of my favorite combos, balsamic vinaigrette with strawberry preserves is incredible…and hey, if you know someone who thinks they don’t like salad, try dressing their salad with that!)
The dressing here uses lemon for acidity and a little honey for balance. The funny thing is, when the salad comes together, this dressing gives it a lovely sweet/tart finish that’s similar to lemonade.
The sturdy veggies like green beans and cabbage in this dish are perfect for standing up to this dressing, and scallion adds a savory note to round out the flavor profile. I added cherries for a little fun (with pink lemonade in mind), but their sweet bursts of summery flavor really enhance the salad.
It sounds like an odd combo, but try it and I think you’ll agree that this salad makes complete sense. Paired with anything that comes off the grill (steak, chicken, fish, or even just a bunch of grilled veggies), it’s a pretty great summer meal.
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons raw, local honey
- ¼ + ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ lb (230 g) fresh green beans, ends trimmed and beans thinly sliced across
- ½ lb (230 g) thinly sliced red cabbage (about 3 cups sliced)
- ½ lb (230 g) fresh cherries, pitted and halved
- 1 large scallion, green and white parts, thinly sliced
- Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl.
- Add the beans, cabbage, cherries, and scallion to the dressing and gently toss to combine.