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You can make silky French Vinaigrette in just 10 minutes with 3 everyday ingredients (plus salt and pepper). Serve it as a dressing for all kinds of leafy greens, to embellish cold cooked vegetables (like asparagus or artichokes), or as a flavorful dip for a crudités platter. It's a versatile finishing touch that you'll want to always have on hand.
Store-bought salad dressings simply can't compete when it’s so quick, easy, and inexpensive to make your own. Not to mention freshness and ingredients you can pronounce! This classic vinaigrette requires just wine vinegar (red or white), dijon mustard, good olive oil, salt and pepper. It's a vinaigrette to always have on hand or make on a moment's notice. A recipe to learn by heart.
Ingredients You Need to Make French Vinaigrette
- Wine Vinegar: white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
- Dijon Mustard: your favorite brand
- Olive Oil: ideally an excellent quality extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
In the 19th century, what we now call French vinaigrette was called French dressing. (The word vinaigrette is a form of the French word for vinaigre (vinegar).) In its simplest form, it's just 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar that's whisked together and often seasoned with salt and pepper. An optional touch of Dijon mustard adds flavor depth and helps to emulsify the dressing.
In American cuisine, instead of the simple, bright flavor of a vinaigrette, French dressing typically refers to the creamy, sweet salad dressing that ranges in color from light orange to bright red. It's available commercially and often contains ketchup, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and other flavors.
With its higher oil to vinegar ratio, French vinaigrette is smoother and less tangy and acidic than some vinaigrettes.
As a rule, vinaigrettes can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. If the vinaigrette separates and/or the oil hardens, remove from the refrigerator to allow the oil to liquify, then whisk or shake to emulsify.
- Stick to the basic recipe quantities, but feel free to swap in a different kind of vinegar like: apple cider vinegar, sherry vinegar, or even standard white vinegar for a sharper flavor.
- Use a different oil, such as walnut oil, which is used in northern France.
- Enhance the classic recipe with minced shallot, dried herbs or minced fresh herbs.
Looking for more ways to dress up your salads?
- White Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Caesar Salad Dressing
- Strawberry Vinaigrette
- Champagne Vinaigrette
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
How to Make French Vinaigrette
Whisk all ingredients together until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
- 2 tablespoons wine vinegar white or red
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a medium bowl, whisk vinegar and mustard until combined. Add olive oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly until emulsified. Whisk in salt and several grinds of pepper. Check for seasoning and add more salt or pepper to taste. Serve or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
- If olive oil solidifies in refrigerator; remove 15-30 minutes before serving to warm and liquify. Whisk vinaigrette to combine before serving.
- Makes about ½ cup or 4, 2-tablespoon servings.