Orange Scent Leaf/Basil Dressing

  Scent leaf dressing

HI people and welcome to the month of June.I am always excited about the start of the month because just like every new thing or event it gives an extra boost, a chance to start over, a new perspective. ..and so on

It is always exciting for me when I discover new ways of using or combining ingredients; and when I came across the recipe for a Citrus Dressing on the Simple Bites food blog, my hands were itching to try it out for myself…make a dressing with fresh oranges..I was ready to go. Also, since I started having salads more regularly, I am always ready to make new salad dressings because I get tired of using the same ones too often, and I prefer making my own home-made dressings rather than buying from the store.

Being African, I just couldn’t resist the urge to add some extra flavour and drama to the dressing so I decided to make my own adjustments to it by adding 2 popular Nigerian ingredients to it; the well loved atarodo peppers (scotch bonnet peppers) and scent leaves (basil).

It was a risk worth taking because I had to stop myself from licking up all the dressing in the name of tasting for flavour of the scent leaves and heat from the pepper combine with all the other ingredients to give a dressing packed with richness of taste and bursting with flavor.


I can’t forget the zest of the oranges and lemon as well; make sure you taste the orange for sweetness before using it, bitter tasting oranges will not do this recipe justice. For my readers in Nigeria, this is a great alternative to just drinking oranges and would pair well with croaker or tilapia fish for spicing purposes.

 Another great thing about this dressing is that it can be used for a variety of things; dressing for salads, marinade or dipping for chicken or fish, or just add one of your favorite fruits e.g. bananas and voila-a smoothie will be born. I used mine to marinate chicken breasts and served with steamed veggies on the side.I served my sister and our friend Grace who came over for the weekend and they loved it.

Chicken and Orange Dressing
Chicken baked with my orange-scent leaf dressing. Delightful!

So what are you waiting for, here’s the recipe, get your hands busy and share your experience.

5 from 1 reviews
Orange Scent Leaf/Basil Dressing
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Dressing, Marinade
Cuisine: Nigerian
Serves: 1 cup
  • 1 large ripe orange
  • ½ small lemon
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onions
  • 6 large scent leaves or basil leaves
  • 3 slices atarodo pepper/scotch bonnet pepper ( any hot pepper will do)
  1. Cut out the orange and lemon pulp; remove and discard any seeds. Add the chunks to a small bowl.
  2. Combine all the other ingredients and stir mix with a spoon.
  3. Add to a blender; blend until fairly smooth. (It is ok even if there are a few chunks).
  4. Add extra seasoning if desired and blend for some seconds.
  5. Pour into a clean glass or jam jar, cover and refrigerate for up to 7 days.
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