Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Nov 2, 2009 04:58 AM

Vinaigrette recipe

Anyone has a recipe for a simple vinaigrette? Coz I love to chow on lettuce these days and its only companion is a bottle of dijonnaise I bought on a supermarket (I love its sourly kick). I've already bought extra virgin olive oil, some yellow mustard (can't find a dijon mustard), and an apple cider vinegar.

The simpler the recipe the better. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. depending on the quantity you want to make? start with a few tablespoonsful of the vinegar. add a dash of salt, pepper and either sugar or honey. stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. add about twice as much oil as you have vinegar. whisk briskly. add a good spoonful of the mustard, and since you're using yellow mustard, i'd add some fresh lemon juice too. it may separate if it sits, but either shake or stir it back together.

    do this by taste. you may like it sweeter or more tart. i also use either rice or sherry vinegar rather than apple cider.

    are you in the states? i find it curious you can't find dijon since kraft owns grey poupon now.

    1. OMG, I'm a vinagretter freak these days - I could eat 5 salads a day just by changing the dressing - I'm not into store bought anymore (except for guests). I learned recently that you just want an acid and oil (and sweet if you like that). Lately I love:
      * oil, lemon juice (sometimes add honey or agava nector) - s&p
      * oil, soy sauce or tamari, honey, splash of rice vinegar - MY FAV!!!!
      * oil, dijon, lil vinegar (and sometimes sweetness)
      * oil, lime juice, honey, s&p
      * oil, balmamic, honey, s&p

      1. I learned a simple rule of thumb when I was first married that has served me well.

        To start, I rub the bottom of the salad bowl with the cut side of a garlic clove and sprinkle it with salt. The salt absorbs the garlic juice.
        Then I add to the bottom of the bowl:
        3 parts oil
        1 part acid (vinegar/lemon juice, etc.)
        small bit of mustard to hold it together.
        And then add anything else you want -- anchovy paste, cheese, herbs, etc.and mix it with the salad spoon until it comes together. You can do this in a bowl or a blender, but I don't see the need to get something else dirty.

        I usually use 1T oil and 1t acid for each person I'm serving

        This is an incredibly easy and versatile formula. Use any oil. I usually use EVOO, but walnut oil, grapeseed oil, even mayo makes a good base.
        The acid -- wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, citrus juice, etc. adds to the versatility.
        And then that little bit of mustard -- and I vary that as well (dijon, sometimes yellow, honey mustard, etc) helps to hold the oil and vinegar in an emulsion.

        1. I think the OP is from Phillipines as per their profile, so maybe it's difficult to get dijon. See if you can get mustard powder there, DW, it may be a bit better than the yellow mustard.

          Basically the ratio has always been 3:1. Three parts oil to one part acid, (vinegar, lemon juice etc). It's obviously all to taste so play around with it for a bit to see what you like best. Personally, I like a tarter vinaigrette so I actually go 3:2. The beauty of making your own vinaigrette is of course you know what's in it but can also add in anything else you like: cheese, herbs, bacon, list can go on for days.

          I use variations all the time, sometimes depending on the season, sometimes depending on the type of salad. For example when I make a refreshing salad of lettuce, orange segments and fennel, I sometimes use less red wine vinegar and put in a little of the orange juice, olive oil, salt and pepper etc.

          My base tends to always be this though: olive oil, red wine vinegar, shallots, mustard powder/dijon, salt and pepper, and a fresh herb. Then, again depending on the type of salad, I'll add in any "extras" that I like.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Restaurant Dish

            I always use Coleman's Eglish Mustard and a bit of garlic, plus chives. That's what I used to eat on hearts of palm back in the 1960's.

            1. re: hazelhurst

              Coleman's English Mustard that comes in a small yellow can is a "hot" mustard. A pinch is ok but too much will gives one's sinus a good jolt.

              1. re: PBSF

                Yes, it is a very hot mustard...some kid at an Indy 500 party slathered a tablespoon on roast beef and was last seen going thru the roof.

            2. re: Restaurant Dish

              Yes you're right, im form the Philippines, I don't know but i've already searched out at least 3supermarkets but no luck in finding a dijon mustard. What's the difference on it btw? What if I use cane vinegar as an acid + lemon juice? Will it make any difference?

              1. re: Dark Wanderer

                Well, I used regular yellow mustard once in my vinaigrette and I just couldn't get past the taste of it being yellow mustard, it just somehow didn't fit. The mustard powder I find is a bit more subtle, though as some mentioned can be 'spicy' (which I like) just as a good dijon has a bit of a bite. I wouldn't worry too much about the mustard, it's nice to have to it because it gives it a 'creaminess' to the dressing as well as the added flavor.

                As for cane vinegar, not sure I've never tried it but you can definitely try. I'm assuming it's made from cane sugar, so maybe it's a bit on the sweet side?

                I use lemon juice for more of the 'bitter' greens like escarole, endive etc. and usually add some parmesan or ricotta salata (hard, salty cheese).

                Try it with a few different acids to see what you like best. My staple is always red wine vinegar when I'm using a vinegar but I use balsamic sometimes.

                You're making me 'crave' salads now!

                1. re: Restaurant Dish

                  I was trying to make one ever since I tasted one. It was so good that I was literally drinking it! I'll just try it 1st with my ingredients that I have and tell the results later (hope its not as bad as I think).

            3. Adding citrus to the vinagrette is my favorite way to go. I don't measure and I don't use the recipes because I think they usually have too much oil and I prefer the citrus and vinagrette (the acids) more so. Adding fresh is nice, chives and a bit of fresh basil or oregano, but sometimes the dried versions work better in the vinagrette because they seem to bloom in the liquid. I also like to add fresh garlic very finely smooshed and chopped. You can strain it out or leave it if you're going to eat it all within a couple of days. Any longer and you should toss. Of course you need to refrigerate it too.

              1 Reply
              1. re: chef chicklet

                I don't like a super-oily vinaigrette either. I don't really measure, but I know that I DO use a much higher ratio of oil to vinegar BUT I add a juice that fills out the vinaigrette with out using so much oil. My process looks like:

                Chopped shallot and mustard in the blender. Add honey and vinegar, maybe some lemon juice. Blend. Then add reduced apple cider, reduced orange juice, muscadine syrup (from my vines) , etc. Then start adding oil drop by drop w/ the blender going to get a good emulsion. taste for salt , sweet, acid and correct as needed.