tips, tricks and trivia
The secret to making good vinaigrette
The golden rule for making vinaigrette is a 2:1 ratio. That’s two parts of really good olive oil to one part of acid, whether it’s red wine vinegar, white whine vinegar or lemon. (I do prefer using softer, fruitier olive oil for dressings instead of peppery ones, which often have a bitter base note and overwhelm delicate salads.) A very generous pinch of salt and a good few grindings of pepper come next. Whisk to emulsify and that’s it, the most basic of basic vinaigrette.
• I adore adding a very generous spoon of Dijon mustard to my vinaigrette (and I only use Maille).
• For robust salads incorporating tomatoes I also often add a little bit of finely minced garlic. But not too much, raw garlic packs a punch. If you do add garlic, let the vinaigrette stand for at least half an hour so everything has time to infuse.
• And if I want a slightly more Asian flavour profile (for something like cabbage salad), I add a drop or two of sesame oil (very little mind, as it’s powerful) along with a generous squeeze of honey. Also consider adding a teeny knifepoint of grated fresh ginger. Taste and play. As long as your 2:1 ratio is right, it’s hard to go wrong.