The first time I visited my boyfriend’s family home, nestled in a fishing village on the west coast of France, summer was fully underway. Lettuces, tomatoes and radishes grown in the communal garden next door routinely made their way onto the table. It was the first time I was asked to wash lettuce that came not from a bag at the supermarket, but instead directly from the ground. It was also the first time I experienced dressing made from scratch. “Surely,” I thought, “making a batch of dressing every single time you want a salad is simply too laborious to sustain.” Not so. You can whip up a vinaigrette in a matter of minutes, and this basic recipe is almost endlessly adaptable. Particularly now, as I am more and more conscious of trying to eat foods whose ingredients I can pronounce, it seems silly to buy commercial dressing when it can be made so easily at home. The recipe below makes about ½ cup’s worth, so adjust as you see fit. Just keep in mind that you want a ratio of 1:3, acid to oil.
- a spoonful of Dijon mustard (best quality you can find)
- 2 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
- Mustard may be substituted with egg yolk
- The acid may be substituted with white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, raspberry vinegar, sherry, lemon juice, lime juice, or cider vinegar
- Olive oil may be substituted with canola oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, almond oil, walnut oil, hazelnut oil, or flavored olive oils.
- For taste, you may add: garlic, shallots, anchovies, fresh herbs, dried herbs, truffles, lemon zest, lime zest, maple syrup, brown sugar, Parmesan cheese, or pretty much anything else you can think of!
- For even easier mixing and storing, toss all the ingredients into a jar or little Tupperware, and shake.