Tangy, zesty, mouthwatering. That’s how I’d describe this Lemon Celery Seed Dressing. I’d also use words like “refreshing” and phrases like “perfect for summer,” because this dressing is all of those things and MORE, Spiriteds. Beat the salad doldrums with a vegan and paleo dressing that takes just minutes to make and bursts with springy, summery flavor.
Here’s my thing about salad dressings. I LOVE them, and I love the salads that go with them. However, I don’t love all the extra ingredients in the dressings, and sometimes I feel like I have to dump the entire bottle on the salad to get the right zing. The salad then goes from bland to drenched in one pour. I can’t. When I make a salad, I’m like Barbra Streisand in The Mirror Has Two Faces. The right balance of greens and dressing to achieve the perfect salad with the perfect bite.
So when our family went on a whole foods diet, I decided it was time to make my own dressings. Homemade Italian Salad Dressing is a mind-bogglingly delicious staple in our house. And now it has a friend, a cohort, if you will, in this Lemon Celery Seed Dressing. Because although Italian dressings are amazing, sometimes you want a slightly different flavor. And, my friends, today we have that.
There is something about celery seed that I can’t get enough of. And there’s something about lemon that just feels rejuvenating, even in a single batch of salad dressing lightly drizzled over lush spinach leaves, piquant red onions, and juicy yellow tomatoes. Spiriteds, the flavor is everything amazing, and it’s only a salad dressing. You know how they say it’s in the little things? Well, Lemon Celery Seed Dressing is Exhibit A.
It is also born out of the dressing I made for Spicy Shrimp Seashell Tacos, the final result so delicious I tried it on other salads and was hooked. Now that it’s a stand-alone recipe, I made a few changes. Either way, though, I think you’ll enjoy the bite this dressing brings to even the most mundane of salads. It’s the dressing I grab when I want a salad but I’m out of all the good accoutrements. The combination of flavors fills in for whatever ingredients I’m missing.
At first I thought it paired best with protein-based salads like salmon, chicken, tuna, or shrimp salads. But I stand corrected. Lemon Celery Seed Dressing also pairs well with vegetable, and even savory fruit, salads. Whenever I make it, I keep it simple with dried herbs, extra virgin olive oil, and lemon juice from a bottle. I also refrigerate it before serving. It tastes best when chilled and will thicken in the fridge over several days. However, I found a brisk stir and a few minutes at room temperature thins it out. Thick or thin, the flavor is divine. It all comes down to personal preference, especially if a dressing’s viscosity matters to you.
And to think, everyone thought I wasn’t paying attention in science class. Well, I was. I was “multitasking,” chatting with the person sitting nearest me while also writing notes about viscosity. But turnabout is fair play, and now I stand at the front of the room, teaching those same chatty, “multitasking,” students. Actually, I walk around and crouch at desks lot. I also frequently give mental thanks to all my former teachers for putting up with my verbal proclivities. And when I have a lunch break, it’s this dressing I grab to pair with just about any salad of choice.
- 1 cup olive (bump this up to 1¼ cup if the lemon is a little strong)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt (more as desired)
- 1 pinch EACH of garlic powder and onion salt
- Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and store in refrigerator.
- Shake before serving and, for best results, consume within on week.