Here in Fresno, AJ’s Armenian Cuisine makes an inspired vinaigrette. The acid is from lemons, and there are hints of garlic and mint and red Aleppo Pepper, which is very earthy and only mildly spicy. As it’s winter and citrus is so abundant, I set out to make my own version. It’s pretty good for salad at home, although I prefer AJ’s version on a chicken fattoush any day!
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup mild tasting olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp salt (or less if your salad has salty components)
- 1 tsp dried mint leaves
- 1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
- Squeeze lemon juice into a jam jar
- Using a fork, mash the salt into the garlic on a flat cutting board. (Use a mortal & pestle if you have one.) The consistency will resemble a paste.
- Dump the garlicky-salt paste, dried mint, and Aleppo Pepper in the jam jar and shake. (Aleppo Pepper is also called Marash pepper, which is exciting to me because my maiden name is Marashian.) You can purchase Aleppo Pepper at most Middle Eastern markets or on Amazon. I've included a link to a good brand on Amazon at the end of this recipe.
- Add the olive oil and shake vigorously to emulsify.