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Basic Vinaigrette

Whether you love or hate salads, you need to be making homemade vinaigrettes, period. All it takes is a few basic ingredients, a good shake and salads are exponentially better. Because we need our veggies and a homemade vinaigrette is so much cheaper, easier and better for you. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled and if you like more tang, double the Dijon mustard. 

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword salad dressing
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Author The Cowgirl Gourmet


  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegarĀ or freshly squeezed lemon juiceĀ (I generally use a combination of 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • Pinch of kosher or salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil preferably extra virgin
  • Maldon salt for plating


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the acid (vinegar and/or lemon), mustard and salt and pepper. Let this sit for a minute so the salt dissolves thoroughly.
  2. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly, until it is emulsified. You'll know it's emulsified when the oil is completely combined with the vinegar.
  3. Taste to be sure the flavor is to your liking. Perhaps you'll need a bit more olive oil or another squeeze of lemon. Or another pinch of salt and a grind of pepper.
  4. Spoon dressing over salad, toss until leaves are coated and serve. I sometimes like to drizzle a little more dressing over the top of the salad for extra flavor and visual effects, as well as a sprinkle of coarse Maldon salt for texture and another grind or two of pepper.
  5. Refrigerate whatever you have left and just add to it when you need more salad dressing.