Basic Olive Oil and Lemon Sauce

This sauce goes well on pasta or rice or chicken or fish. This recipe can be found on p. 22 of Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything.


  • 4 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 1 tbsp minced onion, garlic, ginger, shallot, scallion, or lemongrass
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice or mild vinegar (like balsamic)
  • Salt and pepper


Over medium heat, combine the oil or butter in a small saucepan. When warm, add the onion and cook until it softens, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in 2 tbsp water and the lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow it to bubble for another couple of minutes.


Herbed sauce: Before serving, add in 2 tbsp of chopped parsley, basil, chives, cilantro, or mint, or 2 tsp of tarragon, sage, oregano, or rosemary.



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