Citrus Vinaigrette

When you add lemon juice or zest to a dish, whether it’s sweet or savory, magic happens. Suddenly, roasted vegetables, such as asparagus or broccolini, aren’t just simple side dishes, rather they become the star of the show. And a platter of sliced oranges, macerated in lemon and a splash of cherry liqueur, brings a refreshing and fragrant finish to any meal.

Lemons are as crucial a flavor-enhancer as salt. But while salt is a mainstay in most pantries, lemons are often overlooked.

I use the versatile little fruit in a myriad of ways. It’s an essential ingredient in my homemade Rosmary-lemon sea salt, is a major player in gremolata (a classic Italian condiment) and I can’t imagine my Sicilian olive oil cake without it.

Although you could use a white balsamic vinegar, I typically have used a blood orange balsamic. As I have used up nearly every last drop of what I brought back from Sicily on my last trip, I was on the hunt for a replacement. I have recently discovered something even better. This new find made with Cara Cara orange and pure Madagascar Vanilla adds next-level flavor. It is a delicious combination that will tempt your tastebuds to use it in a variety of ways. Best of all, this absolutely divine balsamic is readily available at Marisolio.

This citrus vinaigrette is delicious drizzled over ancient grains, antipasti platters fish, fresh fruit and tossed with arugula or your favorite spring greens (to suggest just a few ideas).

Ingredients:

1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 Tablespoons Cara Cara Orange Vanilla White Balsamic vinegar

3 Tablespoons lemon juice

2 Tablespoons agave

1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice

Using a 1-cup glass measuring cup (or bowl), whisk together all the ingredients. If not needed right away, store in refrigerator. Remove from frig and bring to room temperature prior to use. Whisk the vinaigrette and serve.

Zuppa di Colazione (Breakfast Soup)