When life gives you lemons… Make Watermelon Rosemary Lemonade

By Samantha Abrahmsohn for Viva LA Foodies


We had seen businesses come and go from the retail location one block away from the commercial office building my associate and I manage.

It was quite desolate until about 5 years ago when bright yellow awnings popped up alongside the green outdoor patio, signaling the launch of Lemonade’s flagship café in West Hollywood.


Curious, we ventured down Beverly Boulevard to an old school cafeteria line… that wrapped around the block!

We discovered every “salad” you could imagine… There was not just couscous, but Israeli couscous, black kale, things with nuts, seeds, herbs, spices and roots… brightly colored exotic offerings by the dozen, too many to choose from! This is why their menu is designed to allow for a selection; a little of this, a scoop of that, and a portion of the other.

Lemonade turned everything I knew about salad on it’s head… where I got a great perspective of the deserts!

Day after day, we came to try something new… the menu changing with each falling leaf, spring rain and summer sandal.

I became despondent when, at late fall, Lemonade would stop serving their signature Heirloom Tomato and Basil salad.

Heirloom Tomato, Crushed Basil, Fleur de Sel

I went home and attempted to make it myself…. To no avail. I could not achieve that incredible pungent basil flavor.

I stormed into Lemonade one day and up to the counter and asked to speak with Alan, a man we had come to know well.

Alan Jackson_photocred Victoria Pearson copy

“Alan, I need your tomato basil salad recipe. I’m desperate.”

He smiled broadly. “Do you know how to blanche basil?” he asked.

I, a layperson, did not know how to blanche basil. And this was the secret!

Patiently, he ran off the recipe to me and I ran off down the street to Bristol Farms to buy the few ingredients necessary. I created at home Alan Jackson’s signature dish in moments… and enjoyed it all winter long!

For years I wished that Alan would come out with a cookbook so that we, mere mortals, could recreate these incredible dishes. I figured he had to shield his signature recipes from prying eyes… lest the secret sauce recipe fall into the wrong hands.

COVER Lemonade Cookbook, The

Now, 5 years later and to my amazement, Alan Jackson’s arsenal of lemonade favorites are now assembled in an easy to follow cookbook. This is the hottest thing since swedish knackebrod!

The book is easy to follow and Alan’s creativity is nonpareil. The marketplace vegetables are fantastic on their own but the homemade infused oils and dressings make them spectacular. The braises and soups are sinful and comforting and the refreshing Lemonade itself is delightful.

Alan writes, “what fun is cooking if you can’t play with your food? Consider a recipe as a food GPS, a culinary road map that, once you navigate the intended route, can lead you to arrive at the original delicious destination.”

These recipes are completely out of the box and are sure to impress the toughest critic.

You need to see it to believe it! The best part of it all is that it makes a great holiday gift that any home or professional cook would love to display on their kitchen counter. We have provided the following {Buy Now} link for those of you who would like a shortcut link to shop the Lemonade store on Amazon.

Born into a Hollywood family, ALAN JACKSON is grandson to famous actor Alan Ladd and son to legendary L.A. talk radio host Michael Jackson. Alan has a love affair with food and creating memorable meals since he opened Jackson’s and The Farm in Beverly Hills in the early 1990s.

JOANN CIANCIULLI has coauthored cookbooks with world-renowned chefs like Michael Mina, served as an expert on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, and most recently authored two of her own cookbooks, L.A.’s Original Farmers Market Cookbook and the MasterChef Cookbook. JoAnn is co-creator and producer for groundbreaking Food Network shows, such as Food 911 with Tyler Florence.

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