Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Citronette – Why do they call it “Lemon Vinaigrette?”

Remember that post I did recently where I said how stupid it is for Chefs to argue over terms and names for dishes? Well, forget all that! Now, just to be clear, what I really meant is to argue whether something is a relish or a salsa, is basically a waste of time. You know my rule…if you made it, you get to name it. But, when something is just plain wrong, I have to draw the line.

I was at a restaurant recently and one of the salads came with a “lemon vinaigrette.” I asked the waiter if it was made with lemon juice and vinegar, and he said it was just lemon juice and olive oil. So, I say, “then it’s not a vinaigrette, it’s a Citronette!” Well, instead of agreeing with me, and telling me what a brilliant point I had just made, he basically stared at me, as if to say, “listen you jerk, I’ve got other customers, do you want the damn salad or not!?” OK, OK, I don’t blame him; in fact, my wife was giving me the same look. It’s just one of those things that really bugs me… if it doesn’t have vinegar in it, it’s NOT vinaigrette! If you use lemon juice (or some other citrus) then call it a Citronette, that’s the accurate name. Wow, I feel better.

By the way, this wonderful Citronette is a natural with so many dishes; grilled veggies, any fish, chicken salad, etc. I also steal yet another trick from Chef Gordon Ramsey, who adds a little water to his Citronette to make it even lighter.

1/3 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbl Water
1/3 Tsp Salt
Pinch Of Cayene


Anonymous said...

I enjoy all of your recepies. You are awesome

ragecg said...

Sorry it took me so long to ask, but where do you get those awesome squirt bottles?
Is there somewhere online I could get some? ...with lids:)

Thanks again for the awesome blog!

Chef John said...

find any restaurant supply store, online or off and they will have them.

Anonymous said...

First time ever hearing of a "Citronette" (I'm rather new to the whole cooking experience). I love how many of your vids allow us to experiment on our own. With that in mind, are there other citrus you would recommend using other than (or along with) lemon? I'm making a spinach and pomegranate salad and wondering what would top it well.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for making the distinction. I am memorizing a new menu for work and I was unfamiliar with the term. (It goes on a salad of butter lettuce and fines herbs, radish, smoked salt.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for making the distinction. I am memorizing a new menu for work, and I was unfamiliar with the term. This citronette is for a salad of butter lettuce and fines herbs, radish, smoked salt.

Anonymous said...

How do you make water? :P

Unknown said...

Only since it may irk you so much, and that an otherwise probably perfectly competent, or gregarious, or just hard-working server and your dear wife stare helpless to your subtle semantical perfectionistic propounding... you know, like tomAYto tomAHto, ratatouille peperonata, but I feel your posted Gordon Ramsay fave is, in fact, not merely citronette, but rather vinaigrette for the addition of the dijon mustard, in any quantity, assuming it has some vinegar. Perhaps there should be an additional category like garvincintron OR cigarnvintron, (or like this guy Huilerie Beaujolaise Vinaigre De Citron (Lemon and Calamansi Vinegar)! But really, let's call them all perfectly good arguments to engage in, and I send a virtual toast to all whose senses will be gifted with more citronette (or Huilerie Beaujolaise Vinaigre De Citron (Lemon and Calamansi Vinegar)this spring.

Unknown said...

Once made and stored in the plastic bottle, how long will this last in the refrigerator? Maybe a month or a little longer? Or just have to use it that day?