Versatile French Vinaigrette

makes about 1 1/2 cups

This is a simple, delicious dressing that is easy to make and endlessly useful to have on hand. It uses the tried-and-true 3:1 ratio of oil to vinegar, but you can play around with it to suit your taste buds. If you like a sweeter dressing, whisk in a little honey; however better quality balsamic vinegars are usually sweet enough without it.

Try it on a green salad, pasta or grain salad, as a dip for steamed artichokes, or a marinade for grilled vegetables or fish.

Versatile Balsamic Vinaigrette


1 garlic clove, crushed
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil


Combine the garlic, mustard, salt and pepper in the bottom of a glass cruet or a Mason jar. Add balsamic vinegar and stir to combine. Add olive oil and whisk or shake vigorously to emulsify the dressing.

The dressing is best stored at room temperature; otherwise the oil congeals and gets clumpy. If refrigerated, be sure to let the dressing to come to room temperature, then shake to re-emulsify.

Once you’ve made this dressing a few times, you’ll be able to whip it up in no time at all. I’ve used the same cruet for about 10 years, and I’ve marked it with an “O” and a “V” so I always get the ratio just how I like it. No need to buy bottled dressings ever again!

Download a PDF of this recipe.