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Feb 13, 2007 05:36 PM

Classic Vinegrette/Vinaigrette?

I make a good vinegrette at home (see below), but I love a great vinaigrette and was wondering how other chowhounders make theirs. Also, how do you spell it? There seem to be a variety of ways!


I usually shop some shallots and mix them with minced garlic (I use a press) in a small mason jar. I add some salt and vinegar, either red wine vinegar or a mixture of red wine and champagne. I shake it up, let it sit a bit, then add some grey poupon or stone ground mustard, lemon juice, cracked black pepper, thyme and/or rosemary and olive oil (I like 3 or 4 to one oil to vinegar). I put on the mason jar top, shake it all up and let it sit until I make the salad.

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  1. I like to make my Vinaigrette right in the wooden salad bowl.

    In 2TBS Meyer Lemon juice or Vinegar ( red wine or Balsamic), whisk in 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, 1/2-1 tsp Herbes de Provence, 1/4 tsp freshl;y ground Black pepper, 1-2 tsps Dijon mustard, 1 tsp honey or sugar.

    Whisk in 6 TBS EVOO.

    Whisk in a tsp or two of boiling water. This is a trick Iearned from a Michelin 2 macaron chef in the South of France. The boiling water emulsifies the dressing and prevents it from separating.

    You can prepare the dressing and put your greens on top ahead of time. When you are ready to serve, toss the salad.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Fleur

      Actually, Fleur, it's the Dijon mustard that acts as the emulsifier in a classic vinaigrette. Oil and water, regardless of the temperature, do not emulsify on their own.

      Another ingredient used for its emulsification properties is egg yolk.

      1. re: Fleur

        Delicious! We tried this tonight in a salad of spinach, walnuts, peaches, and sunflower seeds. I used half walnut oil and half olive oil. Thanks for posting your recipe.

      2. I much prefer lemon juice to vinegar, though sometimes I'll use balsamic for a change of pace. I don't have measurements...I keep adding and tasting. I'll use shallots sometimes...ALWAYS garlic. Salt, pepper. A dab of Dijon. Always extra-virgin olive oil. Sometimes I'll add herbs. I tend to like my vinaigrettes less oily than most recipes call for...I tend more toward a 2-1 ratio of oil to acid. It just depends on the day.

        Didn't know about the boiling water trick. I'll have to try that sometime. It doesn't make the dressing too warm?

        1 Reply
        1. re: wyf4lyf

          The boiling water truc really does work. I have never had a problem with warm dressing, but it has been so cold here in NY that wouldn't be a problem.

          I usually serve some kind of salad as a first course. Since I make a Vinaigrette every evening we have dinner at home, I switch around the Vinegar and Oils as well.

          I love using part Walnut Oil in the sauce and adding toasted Walnuts to the salad. Ditto for Hazelnut Oil and Hazelnuts. Both are great with a salad of Mescun, very thinly sliced raw pear, and fresh Goat Cheese. Lately, I have been using Petit Billy from GARDEN of EDEN or MURRAY'S, a beautiful soft fresh chevre from France.

        2. Oh and to answer the OP's question it's "vinaigrette." :)

          1. I think simple is best - 2 tsp white wine vinegar, 5 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp seeded mustard, salt and pepper. This makes a lovely mustardy dressing for "butch" salads with things like chicory, raddicchio etc, but also nice with most other salads. When I want something lighter, I often just squeeze some lemon juice directly over it, add olive oil, salt and pepper and mix it all up.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Theresa

              I have done that more times thaan I can count...just drizzle evoo and lemon juice over my greens, add salt and pepper and mix. Sometimes the more simple, the better.

            2. Just to toss in another variation, my diet vinaigrette is 2 T orange juice, 1 T red wine vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 1/2 T olive oil. I should try adding some mustard and some other seasonings.