Helen’s Hot, Sour and Salty

I have spoken often of my wonderful Neighbor Helen. She just turned 90 and is one of my favorite people of all time. She is smart, quick, funny and reminds me of my mother. Mom, if you are reading this, or someone is reading it to you, you would love Helen. She is a costume designer, a great connoisseur of fashion, shoes and stuff – what you would call ‘early halloween’ – and a real character. You would love her.

Helen has a massive garden and is not afraid of hard work and is no stranger to a shovel. I saw her digging a hole to transplant a tree the other day. I was about to offer help, then realized that not only did she know exactly what she was doing, she was bound and determined to do it herself.

Her garden produces an amazing amount of bounty, some of which I am lucky enough to pilfer. She concocts great, creative and delicious things from it daily. She has shared many a secret with me and this particular one she has granted me permission to share. This is a salad dressing that is good on just about everything. I think you if you squirted this on your windshield you would want to eat your car. It is unorthodox and outrageous, just like Helen.


  • 3 Cups Whole Lemons
  • 1 Large Bottle Green Taco Sauce
  • 1 Bunch Parsley (1-1 1/2 Cups)
  • 3 Tablespoons Salad Herbs (herbs of Provence)
  • 2 Tablespoons Mustard (Helen stipulates Frenchs)
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Liquid Smoke (I leave this out – sorry Helen)
  • 5 Large Garlic Cloves, pressed
  • 5 Cups Oil (Olive Oil and Safflower mixed)


  • Blender or Food Processor
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Mixing Bowl
  1. Deseed and chop the lemons into small bits, leaving the skin on.
  2. Add all ingredients (except oil), one at a time as listed, to a blender, blending each as you go.
  3. Combine blended ingredients into bowl with oils.
  4. Feed all back into blender, a little at a time, until completely emulsified. (If you are using a food processor, you can just slowly pour oil while emulsifying, skipping the bowl part.)
  5. Store in a sealable container or squeeze bottle and use as desired. Should last for at least a week.



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