Basic Salad Vinaigrette

Source: Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything, p. 199

According to Mr. Bittman, you can add honey or sugar to balance out the acidity if needed. Mustard is also a good thing to mix in.


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp or more good wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large shallot cut into chunks (optional)


Combine everything except the shallot in a blender. Blend for 30 seconds. Add the shallot and mince it in the machine.

Variations and Additions:

  1. Herbs: Start with 1/8 tsp of dried herbs.
  2. Garlic: Start with a small clove. Roasted garlic (in the oven) would be good here, about 5 cloves.
  3. Onions: Minced red onion, scallions, shallot, leeks (1 tbsp or more)
  4. Mustard: Mustard, soy sauce (1 tbsp)
  5. Honey: Or maple syrup (1 tbsp)
  6. Cheese: Grated Parmesan, feta (1 tbsp to 1/4 cup)
  7. Tomato: Mince it
  8. Stock: 1 tbsp or 2 tbsp of it
  9. Seeds: Sesame, poppy, sunflower, pumpkin, all minced
  10. Fruits: Peaches, pears, apples, cut into chunks
  11. Dried fruits: Blueberries, cherries, raisins, apricots, pineapple, mango (1/4 cup)

He has a great chart on p. 201 for mixing and matching different vinaigrette ingredients

1. Mustard or Honey Mustard Vinaigrette: Use 1/2 cup olive oil, 3 tbsp wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and 1 tsp of good mustard or 1/2 tsp dry mustard, and 1-2 tbsp honey

2. Lemon or Lime Vinaigrette: Use 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon or lime juice, 1 tbsp warm water, zest of 1 lemon or lime, and black pepper

3. Soy Vinaigrette: Use 1/2 cup neutral oil (he suggests grapeseed or corn oil), 1 tsp dark sesame oil, 3 tbsp vinegar/lemon/lime juice, and 1 tbsp soy sauce

4. Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette: Use 1/2 cup olive oil, 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 clove garlic, and 1 tbsp honey

5. Maple Vinaigrette: Use 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp cider vinegar (or sherry or white wine), and 1 tbsp maple syrup

6. Avocado Vinaigrette (use immediately): No oil, 1/4 cup lime or lemon juice, 1/2 avocado, 1 tsp minced garlic or 2 tbsp chopped onion



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