Basic Vinaigrette Recipe

Kale Lettuce Mesclun Mix Salad

You could choose from the hundreds of salad dressing bottles available at any grocery store—or, you could remember a bit of salad-dressing arithmetic and know how to make vinaigrette anytime, anywhere, and with common ingredients in your pantry. Bonus: It'll taste better, and you'll probably spend less money in the long run.

Here's a well-tasted recipe from Cookie and Kate that's easy to make and taste great! You can double or triple the amount of ingredients to make a big batch and use it over the course of the week (or two!)


Recipe yields ¾ cup dressing, enough for about 6 medium salads (assuming 2 tablespoons per salad).

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar of choice (balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Stir well with a small whisk or a fork until the ingredients are completely mixed together.
  2. Taste, and adjust as necessary. If the mixture is too acidic, thin it out with a bit more olive oil or balance the flavors with a little more maple syrup or honey. If the mixture is a little blah, add another pinch or two of salt. If it doesn’t have enough zing, add vinegar by the teaspoon.
  3. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for future use. Homemade vinaigrette keeps well for 7 to 10 days. If your vinaigrette solidifies somewhat in the fridge, don’t worry about it—real olive oil tends to do that. Simply let it rest at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes or microwave very briefly (about 20 seconds) to liquify the olive oil again. Whisk to blend and serve.
Tip: Dip a lettuce leaf into the dressing to see how it will taste in the salad instead of tasting it on its own.

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