Creamy Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette Salad + Victory Gardening

by on February 5, 2009

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We know, we know. Many of you are still freezing while we’re basking in Southern California’s warm embrace. It’s a catch-22 situation with this post because we get e-mails requesting more updates on the garden, but if we do, we certainly don’t wan’t to be rubbing today’s 78 degree sunshine in anyone’s blog face. So to be polite about it, we’re dedicating this sunshine filled post to everyone who is experiencing weather below 70 degrees Farenheit. Fair? We love you too.

As we mentioned, folks are asking us to write about our garden updates more, what we’re currently growing and how the pesky possums’s are treating us (you, smart asses!). We’ve been cautious to gloat about our freakishly warm “Winter”, but since we’ve made weather peace with all of you, here’s the update: The garden is going friggin crazy!

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Victory gardening = lettuce + lemons = dinner!

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If you follow our twitter updates, you all know that we’ve gotten a little fruit tree crazy. Since Dani from Blog Book Tours sent us information about the Victory Garden revival movement, we’ve gone haywire when it comes to literally “grow food in your front yard” concept. Little did we know that we’ve already been participating in an amazing movement of eating local and producing your own food by “growing it” concept. Coupled with Dani’s information and our already crazed love of soil conditioner, bat guano, seeds, fruit trees and aching backs, it was already obvious that our Victory Garden was already in place. Now we knew what to call our garden.

To find out more about Victory Gardens, visit Revive the Victory Garden, Red White & Grew,   San Francisco’s Victory Garden, or google “Victory Gardens” to find a plethora of information at your fingertips.

So, what is in our Victory Garden this month? Our four varieties of radishes are popping up like weeds and they’ve become such uncontrollable green critters that we’ll have to eat the radish tops in a salad soon before they fight each other for space. The beets, onions, spinach, tatsoi, mustard greens, soybeans, kohlrabi, broccoli and cauliflower seedlings were all sunbathing in the warm sun today. The leeks have barely poked out to say “hello”, but in a few weeks, they’ll be screaming out for more attention.

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What does one package of lettuce seeds produce? All this and much more.

The pluot, pomegranates, plums and other stone fruits are budding out like CRAZY! We can barely keep up with the flower count on each tree and believe it or not, we WERE that obsessed where we did…count…each….flower…on….each…tree. That was back in the apartment patio/pot gardening days. Now, with so many fruit trees to stalk each morning, those flower counting days are over! We’re just hoping that the right pollinators will go have some fun sex with most of those darn flowers so that we can have some delicious fruits to eat in a few months. Those damn pollinators, what a tough life they lead. So many fruit flowers, so much sex in a day.

The biggest attention stealers today were all the baby, mixed green lettuce and meyer lemons. This is the time of year that we drown in tender lettuce and beautiful citrus. With 13 citrus trees in the garden, this is the time of year that we, literally, Zest To Death! Although not all the citrus trees are bearing fruit now, what we do have on the trees is enough to eat and perfume our house with. It was only appropriate to have our first big garden salad of mixed greens, tossed in a creamy meyer lemon vinaigrette. The simple blend of fresh meyer lemon juice, some olive oil and touch of other seasons just can’t be beat. The bright, aromatic flavors of fresh lemon juice on soft lettuce leaves, crispy stems and some added crunch from nuts was what we call, a Victory dinner.

What a well deserved dinner this was, especially for Todd. He spent 4 hours trimming half of our 32 ficus hedges, to be saved for mulch throughout the year. A round of applause for the mulch man, Todd! He’s my pruning hero.

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Creamy Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe

Yield: 1/4 cup Dressing

Total Time: 5 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Meyer lemon juice from about 1 large meyer lemon
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • about 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to personal taste
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mayo
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • lettuce leaves
  • walnuts, almonds or pecans (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in medium bowl. Whisk together until mayo blends into vinaigrette, leaving no lumps.
  2. Toss over fresh lettuce and nuts
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cynthia February 5, 2009 at 5:11 am

So jealous – not of the weather, the garden :)

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2 Christie @ fig&cherry February 5, 2009 at 5:13 am

So fresh and delicious! Another triumph for you guys! :P

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3 Yaelian February 5, 2009 at 9:08 am

What a beautiful garden you have! And I so love Meyer lemons;we had them here in Israel end of last year, but I think their season here is over now.I just love their colour and the way they smell.How lucky you are to have such trees in your garden! Lovely dressing, I will try that, albeit from lemons as we don’t have Meyer lemons this time of the year.

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4 Julia February 5, 2009 at 9:10 am

I’m jealous, but happy to see your ray of sunshine! And totally psyched about growing my own arugula in a few months… ;)

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5 shayne February 5, 2009 at 10:35 am

It looks wonderful

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6 Kate February 5, 2009 at 11:31 am

Y’all are AWESOME – I can’t tell you how excited I was to see ‘Victory Garden’ on my reader. Do you know how long it’s been since I heard anything remotely related to a Victory Garden? I wish I had the space for my own, but alas, not right now. Right now I’m relegated to container planting, but at least I’ve got basil and rosemary seedlings sprouted and ready for transplanting!

Since you guys planted in your own apartment (before you got this jealousy-inspiring house and garden), any suggestions/advice for someone in the same situation? Herbs are already here and happily stretching to the light, but vegetables are questionable and fruit (for now) is out of the question.

The salad is hunger-inspiring – and I just finished lunch.

Kate

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7 helen February 5, 2009 at 11:39 am

I just did a quick estimate, and if the weather will be on my side, I can start gardening again in four months. FOUR MONTHS!!!
So, I’m envious! But I love seeing pictures and hearing stories from your garden. Please post more!

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8 matt wright February 5, 2009 at 11:11 am

You guys rock. I just adore your garden!! Dani and I have decided this is the “year of the garden” for us. We are pulling out a bunch of ornamental plants (giving them to neighbors), and planting a ton of vegetables instead. Amen to Victory Gardening!

Course, we have absolutely no idea what on earth we are doing, so we might be calling on you guys..

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9 Hélène February 5, 2009 at 11:32 am

It’s a bit different in Canada. I was raised on a farm, growing our vegetables. But the season is so short. There is nothing like having your own garden in your backyard. I miss that in the winter months. I’m jalous at yours. I love your updates about it even if we are freezing here. Just to look at your pictures it bring warmth in my house. Have a good one.

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10 Andrea February 5, 2009 at 11:38 am

That is a wonderful salad and your Meyer lemons look so beautiful and ripe. We got a late start on our cold frames due to Michael’s travel schedule (he had to build them for me, that’s his thing), so we didn’t get as much in the ground for a winter garden as we would have liked. We are starting seeds for our spring/summer garden next weekend and putting up four new raised beds in March. Yes, I am giddy with excitement!

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11 Sandie February 5, 2009 at 12:04 pm

How I long to have a Meyer lemon tree in our backyard, or any variety of lemon tree for that matter. Never gonna happen in our climate, although my husband recently added a potted grapefruit tree to his office. We’re keeping our fingers crossed!

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12 missginsu February 5, 2009 at 4:13 pm

I’m sad to report that there are entirely too few Meyer lemons in New York City. I know *someone* must have them, but I’ve been checking around to no avail. :(

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13 nikkipolani February 5, 2009 at 6:25 pm

Stop it. You keep this up and I’m going to wind up with another citrus tree! Those Meyers are such smooth-skinned darlings. Love the images you’ve captured with their salady friends.

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14 Jennifer (from www.foodess.com) February 5, 2009 at 6:15 pm

I just discovered your blog – gorgeous photography!! And gorgeous garden! Not to mention gorgeous food too!

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15 Ceres February 5, 2009 at 9:27 pm

Gorgeous garden!
After reading this I am definitely California dreaming…

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16 Abigail February 6, 2009 at 6:04 am

OK, I’m having land envy! We’re in a Japanese apartment on a second floor with barely enough room to hang out our clothes to dry and put the poopy diapers, let alone grow anything (though maybe with the poopy diapers hanging out out there stuff might grow really really well). I grew up in Florida and my grandparents had fresh citrus out the wazoo – I really miss that! What a beautiful post and beautiful garden and beautiful dinner and beautiful…everything. :)

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17 Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) February 6, 2009 at 2:39 pm

I am officially green with envy — my herb garden is buried under more than a foot of snow! But Trader Joe’s had some Meyer lemons last week, so I’m all set to make a salad with this vinaigrette.

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18 We Are Never Full February 6, 2009 at 5:10 pm

this is like summer on a plate. yes, i’m seething with jealousy but also really enjoying that bright, yellow lemon picture. smiles all around.

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19 Lang February 6, 2009 at 7:45 pm

The imagination runs wild contemplating a garden in such friendly environs. Well, can’t complain. Dandelions are starting to come up in Seattle and the stinging nettles are pushing through the dirt. Almost time to plant the spring garden!

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20 pam February 6, 2009 at 8:14 pm

How great to be able to eat a wonderful salad like that from your own garden!

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21 Lori Lynn February 7, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Oh, I am excited to try this recipe, I recently planted a Yuzu tree and I bet this vinaigrette would be great with that too. Can’t wait to get my first fruit!
LL

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22 Peter February 8, 2009 at 7:39 pm

I’m jealous as you get hungry for lunch…wander to your garden, yank some leaves, herbs, lemons and head back into the kitchen for lunch.

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23 Chez Us February 9, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Love Love Love that you have Meyers growing in your yard! I wish our tree would produce!! You have poked a big interest in the Victory Garden. I am going to click on that link as soon as I finish typing this. I am bursting at the seams to get out in our garden – the weather is too wacky here. Warm, rainy & now freezing (again)!

This is one of our favorite dressings – always use the Meyers in ours. A touch of dijon is a nice addition, too!
xx

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24 Phoo-d February 9, 2009 at 2:03 pm

This recipe is perfect! We’re having salad tonight and I’m still working my way through some Meyer lemons so we’ll give the dressing a go. Sadly no warm weather yet, but I am daydreaming while flipping through seed catalogs.

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25 Anticiplate February 11, 2009 at 7:29 am

My new obsession of 2009 are Meyer lemons. I use them on everything. The other day I made some swiss chard with zante currants, pinenuts, and meyer lemon juice. It was amazing!!!!

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26 Laurie July 5, 2009 at 4:49 pm

LOVE this recipe!! I’m a Meyer lemon fan from way back. This is a keeper. Thank you! Great pictures of the garden!

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27 Tori January 28, 2010 at 9:18 am

Thanks for the Meyer Lemon dressing recipe! I suggested it in my blog and linked to you guys.

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28 Erin Block January 16, 2011 at 8:59 am

I adore Meyer Lemons and this looks amazing! I’m going to make this tonight to go with a polenta pizza I’m making!

Erin
http://mysteriesinternal.blogspot.com/

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29 Audra April 19, 2011 at 4:39 pm

I really enjoyed this dressing. It was so fresh and the meyer lemons are just enough of a difference to notice! It brings me back to the time in my life when I lived in Piedmont and had a very fruitful meyer lemon tree in my backyard. Thank you!

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