Lemon-Loaded North African Dressing


16 May Lemon-Loaded North African Dressing


These days when you order a salad, the dressings choices are so varied they could have their own menu. But years ago, when I fell in love with this lemon-loaded version, the only competition was — and had been for decades — Italian, French, Thousand Island and blue cheese. Period.

You had to go to ethnic restaurants for Greek or Caesar, and the now standard balsamic, raspberry, poppy seed and honey mustard were unheard of. No wonder everyone went crazy when ranch arrived on the scene.

This spicy, over-the-top, lemony dressing was the signature dressing at a now defunct local bistro. My taste buds were so starved for excitement I begged for the recipe. One of the kitchen staff scribbled the ingredients on a piece of paper and slipped it to me when management wasn’t looking. The romantic little bistro is now a noisy pub and I’ve no idea what happened to the sous chef who shared the kitchen’s secrets, but the recipe remains.

Be warned. This is not for the faint of mouth. You’ll pucker, you’ll scrunch your eyes and after a bite or two, you’ll be converted.

Lemon-Loaded North African Dressing
Printable recipe

Makes 1 cup


  • Grated rind of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp Tabasco
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tsp each: coriander, cumin, sugar, paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • salt to taste

Mix well and serve on mixed greens or pour over steamed vegetables and chill for a spicy summer salad.

Related Post

No Comments
  • Francesca
    Posted at 09:37h, 16 May Reply

    I love visiting your blog just before I go to the supermarket…ahhh yes, then I know what to put on my list! You should have a cooking show on TV!!!!

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 10:00h, 16 May Reply

    Thanks, Francesca. Let me know how you like the dressing. It’s unusual and very tangy, but I love it. As I mentioned, it’s a great marinade for steamed veggies.

    Wonder how it would be on fiddleheads :-)

  • Kathe
    Posted at 10:58h, 16 May Reply

    Can’t wait to try this, Charmian! Lemon is in the top three of my favourite flavours, chocolate and garlic of course being the other two (though not generally in the same dish!).

  • jamEs
    Posted at 21:42h, 16 May Reply

    This does sound pretty good. Most people have a sweet tooth, mine is a sour tooth, so this definitely appeals to me.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 14:09h, 17 May Reply

    Kathe: I’m with you on that list, but I’d have to add ginger. It goes with all three of your faves!

    James: A sour tooth? You’ve GOT to try Best Not to Ask Lemon Pie. It’s got a ton of zing!

    Happy munching!

  • Laura
    Posted at 20:28h, 19 May Reply

    I made a batch yesterday, and we finished it today. It was quite nice, thanks for sharing it.

    Posted at 08:35h, 20 May Reply

    Made this for asparagus this weekend. It was wonderful! Thanks Charmian. I’ve been telling a few about your great blog! You GO girl!

  • jamEs
    Posted at 13:52h, 05 June Reply

    I forgot to mention I made this dressing. I liked it, Corina not so much, but I kinda expected that. I think next time I’ll try using real lemon juice. The ironic part to that is that I actually bought 2 lemons for this task, but I just didn’t feel like squeezing lemons at the time I made it. Though I did grate some rind off them. Showed me I don’t really have a good grater for that particular task. Though I do have an awesome salad dressing container that we got from someone at a misc wedding shower.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 14:06h, 05 June Reply

    Glad you tried it James. Real lemon juice does make a difference in this recipe, but not likely enough to change Corina’s mind. You’ve got to LOVE lemon for this to work for you. And as I said, I discovered it when the competition was dull and over-used.

    I tried it as a marinade for chicken recently. Cooking knocked down some of the tang. Corina might like it better that way. You can always top it off with fresh juice.

    Keep cooking!

Post A Comment

Subscribe to my newsletter.

It’s easy. It’s free. It’s informative.


Receive weekly tips, recipes and advanced notice of upcoming events.

Yes, please!