French Vinaigrette

by Jul 1, 2016

This classic vinaigrette enhances your fresh garden greens and beautiful farmer’s market produce without adding the odd flavors you find in most prepared salad dressings. Three basics get you there: Dijon mustard, vinegar, and an extra virgin olive oil. Quality matters, so taste around until you find your favorites. I like Edmond Fallot’s Dijon, B.R. Cohn’s Champagne vinegar, and the olive oil from California Olive Ranch.  (Find them in Bozeman at Joe’s Parkway!)

French Vinaigrette


  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard Edmond Fallot
  • 2 pinches salt Maldon
  • freshly ground black pepper, a little or a lot
  • 4-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  1. Whisk vinegar with mustard and salt. Drizzle in olive oil while whisking continuously. Transfer to a glass jar and store extra in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes / Tips

  • Drizzle dressing over the salad tablespoon by tablespoon so you don't soak it with too much dressing 
  • Olive oil hardens in the refrigerator, but will return to its liquid state as it warms to room temperature  
  •  Variations:
    • honey mustard: increase mustard to 1 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon honey
    • lemon: substitute fresh squeezed lemon juice for the vinegar
    • shallot: finely mince 1 shallot and combine with vinegar and let sit 10 minutes before mixing in the mustard and olive oil.   
  • Building a fantastic salad:
    • leafy greens + thinly sliced crunchy vegetable (radish, bok choy, kohlrabi, snap peas, celery)
    • pea shoots or sprouts
    • something rich: avocado, goat cheese, or parmigiano-reggiano
    • something nutty: toasted pepitas or pine nuts or pistachios or walnuts
    • something bread: sourdough bread or croutons



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