Basic Dijon Vinaigrette
We love this classic dressing, with its wonderfully creamy texture and bright acidity. However, you can feel free to alter the recipe according to your mood — or according to the contents of your pantry. For instance, while we like to use a mix of extra virgin olive oil and canola oil (they balance the dressing nicely), you can absolutely make this dressing using just one kind of oil. Cider vinegar has a pleasantly mild acidity, which we love, but most other vinegars will work well here too. (Sherry vinegar and red wine vinegar are some of our other favorites. You can also use a mixture of vinegars.)

ingredients

Basic Dijon

Ingredients

• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
• Sea salt
• Freshly ground pepper
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons canola oil


Tools and Equipment

• Bowl
• Measuring cups and spoons
• Whisk or fork
• Spoon (for tasting)
or
• Measuring cups and spoons
• Plastic container with lid
• Spoon (for tasting)

Yield

Makes about 1/3 cup of dressing (plenty to dress a large salad or several smaller salads, perhaps with some leftover)

notes

• Refrigerate any leftover dressing in a plastic container or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap. Dressing will usually stay fresh for about a week — you’ll love having it on hand the next time you make salad.

• Be sure to stir or shake up the dressing every time you use it, as the oil has a tendency to separate from the rest of the dressing.

• You can easily halve or double this recipe (or triple it, or quadruple it...).

• If necessary, substitute canola or vegetable oil for extra virgin olive oil.

• If sea salt is not available, feel free to use kosher salt instead. You can also make this dressing using no salt at all.

• If necessary, you can replace the cider vinegar in this recipe with a different kind of vinegar (sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar, etc.), or even with freshly squeezed lemon juice.

• For added zing, add minced garlic and/or shallot to the dressing. (Combine it with the Dijon mustard and vinegar in the first step of the recipe.)

• Basic Dijon Vinaigrette can be used as a dip as well as a dressing.

• Cider vinegar is sometimes called “apple cider vinegar.”


instructions


1. Add the Dijon mustard and cider vinegar to the bowl. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and whisk together to combine. (If you don’t have a whisk, you can stir vigorously with a fork.) The mixture should look somewhat creamy, but it should still have a fairly light consistency.

2. While whisking this mixture constantly, pour the extra virgin olive oil into the bowl in a slow, thin stream, and continue whisking until the oil becomes incorporated into the dressing. (It’s important to add the oil slowly, as it will blend in with the other ingredients a lot more easily this way, forming a more homogeneous dressing.) The dressing will thicken as you incorporate the oil. (Alternatively, you can make the dressing in a plastic container. Place the Dijon mustard, cider vinegar, sea salt, and pepper in the container, cover, and shake vigorously to combine. Open the container, add the oil, cover the container, and shake again.)

3. Taste the dressing to make sure you like how it tastes and to see if it needs any adjustments. Basic Dijon Vinaigrette should have a pleasant (not overpowering) mustard flavor. (If it seems too mustardy, add a little more oil. Ditto if it tastes too vinegary. If it seems somewhat bland, add a bit more salt. If you’d like it to be somewhat thicker, add a more Dijon mustard.) After each addition, whisk (or shake) the dressing to combine, and taste again. (Be sure to use a clean spoon for every taste — no double dipping!) Repeat this process until you’re happy with how the dressing tastes. (Note, however, that you may not need to add or change anything at all.)

step-by-step


Basic Dijon



Step

1

Add Dijon mustard to the bowl...

Basic Dijon


Step
2
...and add the cider vinegar.

Basic Dijon


Step
3

Sprinkle lightly with sea salt...

Basic Dijon

Step

4
...and freshly ground pepper.

Basic Dijon


Step
5
Whisk together to combine. (If you don’t have a whisk, you can stir vigorously with a fork.) The mixture should look somewhat creamy, but it should still have a fairly light consistency.

Basic Dijon

Step

6
While whisking this mixture constantly, pour the extra virgin olive oil into the bowl in a slow, thin stream, and continue whisking until the oil becomes incorporated into the dressing. (It’s important to add the oil slowly, as it will blend in with the other ingredients a lot more easily this way, forming a more homogeneous dressing.) The dressing will thicken as you incorporate the oil.

Basic Dijon



Basic Dijon


Step
7

Taste the dressing to make sure you like how it tastes and to see if it needs any adjustments. Basic Dijon Vinaigrette should have a pleasant — not overpowering — mustard flavor. (If it seems too mustardy, add a little more oil. Ditto if it tastes too vinegary. If it seems somewhat bland, add a bit more salt. If you’d like it to be somewhat thicker, add a more Dijon mustard.)



After each addition, whisk the dressing to combine and taste again. (Be sure to use a clean spoon for every taste — no double dipping!) Repeat this process until you’re happy with how the dressing tastes. (Note, however, that you may not need to add or change anything at all.)

Basic Dijon




Step

8
Alternatively, you can make the dressing in a plastic container. Place the Dijon mustard, cider vinegar, salt, and pepper in the container...
Basic Dijon





...cover, and shake vigorously.
Basic Dijon

Open the container and add the extra virgin olive oil...
Basic Dijon

...cover it, and shake vigorously to combine. Taste and adjust the flavors as necessary.
The dressing is now ready to use.

 

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