Classic French Vinaigrette
Prep Time
10 mins

Classic French vinaigrette is such a joy to make. With a few whips of a whisk, a luscious dressing takes form in front of your very eyes. This classic French vinaigrette recipe reminds Beth of her childhood and, later, of the quick salads eaten on the terrace of Parisian cafés.

Consider this base recipe the door to hundreds (thousands?) of vinaigrette possibilities. Once you’ve mastered the classic French vinaigrette, you’ll be able to tweak it, vary it, and come up with your own favorite adaptations. Check out the notes section for tips on how to get started.

Vinaigrette isn’t just for green salads. We toss it in freshly roasted or grilled vegetables, use it to perk up a rice, quinoa or pasta salad, drizzle it on raw veggie and grain bowls, etc. However, perhaps the best way to enjoy classic French vinaigrette is with a simple steamed artichoke.

Course: Salad
Author: Beth Williams, Meg Raines
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard *
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper (fresh preferred)
  • 1 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper.

  2. While continuing to whisk, progressively drizzle in the oil. This will help the sauce emulsify and give it a beautiful thick and shiny consistency. Continue until all of the oil has been added and the vinaigrette is fully emulsified (the oil should be completely mixed in and will not separate from the other ingredients).

  3. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Recipe Notes

*Change it up by using different kinds of mustard. Our favorites include grainy Dijon mustard, and Sriracha mustard. Have fun with it!
**You can also add some chopped herbs like chives, dill, tarragon, basil...
***Store leftovers in a tightly closed jar in the fridge and give it a vigorous shake before using.