Maple Syrup-Lemon Dressing

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This week we’re visiting New England, which is home to both maple syrup and the legacy of the Shakers.

About 10 years ago, our family visited the Canterbury Shaker Village, which is about 20 minutes north of Concord, New Hampshire. On a whim I picked up The Shaker Kitchen: Over 100 Recipes from Canterbury Shaker Village by Jeffrey Paige from their gift shop, which has turned out to be one of my favorite cookbooks.

Talk about eating local! The recipes in this book are all about using what could be grown and caught in New England. That doesn’t mean, however, the food was simple or flavorless. One of the highlights of the village was the amazing herb garden and fresh herbs are featured in many of the recipes in the book. Some of the recipes call for local ingredients that aren’t readily available everywhere (like fiddlehead ferns for the potato salad), but most are reasonably easy to find or substitute.

The Shaker Kitchen is a great primer on history and historical recipes.

Hardcover: 177 pages
Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1 edition (April 12, 1994)
ISBN-10: 0517588382
ISBN-13: 978-0517588383



Maple-lemon dressing adapted from The Shaker Kitchen.

The original recipe took white vinegar, which I replaced with lemon juice. In case you are wondering, the Shakers did have lemons and according to the book kept them preserved/stored in buttermilk (a quotation from 1882!)


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice

Blend the above ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Prior to serving, add 2 teaspoons of minced fresh mint or minced fresh basil. Whisk vigorously if the oil and juice have separated.

This dressing is excellent served with salads that contain fruit, such as the colorful cabbage salad in the previous post or a bowl of grated carrots with a handful of raisins.


Be sure to visit Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads for more recipes and books.

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    • admin says:


      It is so quick. I actually don’t use dressing very often, but this one is worth the small amount of extra time.

    • admin says:


      Oh, I’ll have to look for the Shaker community in Kentucky. We enjoy some of the handcrafts, too, like the woodworking.

  1. jama says:

    I’ve visited that Shaker Village and enjoyed it. Should have thought to pick up a cookbook when I was there. Thanks for sharing this recipe. 🙂

  2. Kay says:

    Wow. My husband loves maple anything. I bet he would like this dressing. Good suggestion to pair it with a carrot raisin salad. Yum!

  3. Claudia says:

    Lemons preserved or stored in buttermilk, now that would be interesting. Having a lemon tree, I’m always up for ways to use them. Will also have to try that dressing.

    • admin says:


      I have a lemon tree, too. I end up freezing the juice, which sounds a lot more appetizing than keeping them in buttermilk 🙂

    • admin says:

      I think you are absolutely right about the grains. I just got some buckwheat groats that might do the trick, too.

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