You deserve better than bottled dressing.
Read more: The Most Important Jar in Your Office Fridge on Food52
A few days ago I mentioned that panzanella salad was one of a few dishes that I could make successfully without a recipe. Well I would now like to add une vinaigrette to that teeny tiny but slowly expanding list. Some of you may know that bottled salad dressing is not common in France (I’m not sure they even carry it at any of my local grocery stores) and I haven’t had the prefabricated stuff in years. This is because every good French person learns, practically at birth, how to make a simple vinaigrette and therefore it was the first “recipe” I decided to master upon moving to Paris (I knew that I had succeeded when DD genuinely complimented me on a simple side salad about a year after we moved in together). So without much further ado, here are my instructions for making a classic French vinaigrette:
Place 1/2 tsp. of Dijon mustard in a bowl. Add 1-2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar, depending on how strong you like it, and whisk together. Add salt and pepper. Whisk again. Slowly add 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil while whisking furiously.
This is the basic vinaigrette, however I usually add parsley and shallots at the end. You can use different types of mustard (i.e. moutarde à l’ancienne) and/or vinegar to change it up (though I wouldn’t make a balsamic vinegar dressing in this way). Also, the French usually make the dressing first and then add the lettuce and other salad ingredients on top before tossing it all together (gently).
Et voilà. I do believe this is the first time I’ve ever shared a “recipe” with you all. Enjoy and bon appetit !