How to Make Vinaigrette Dressing

How to Make Vinaigrette Dressing

The simplest salad dressing of them all is also perhaps the most delicious—classic vinaigrette is tangy and light, with just enough flavor to make any salad sing. I like a lot of mustard, which acts as an emulsifier, meaning it makes it possible for the vinegar and oil to mix. The salt counters the blandness of the oil, the vinegar adds tanginess, and the pepper offers bite.

It's remarkably versatile; dress any pile of greens or veggies (or even pasta) with it. You can halve this recipe, but it stores well for a couple days.

Makes 1 cup

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

Pinch of kosher salt

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

1. Put the vinegar, garlic, and salt in a small glass jar and let sit for 2 minutes. (This lessens the garlic's bite and dissolves the salt.)

2. Add the mustard, olive oil, and pepper to taste. Cap the jar tightly and shake vigorously.

Variations: Chopped fresh herbs are nice. Use grainy or mild mustard. Try balsamic vinegar for a robust fragrance; apple cider vinegar for a fruity finish; or lemon juice for extra tartness. Experiment with different oils, including nut oils and infused oils.