Basic Vinaigrette: the easy recipe and 7 variants

Total time: 10 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
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By Cookist
White wine vinegar
40 gr
Extra virgin olive oil
120 gr
Fine salt
a pinch
black pepper (optional)

The vinaigrette is a French dressing based on extra virgin olive oil and vinegar and is usually used to dress salads, vegetable side dishes, but also meat or fish dishes. The vinaigrette is the best sauce for the summer, when you want fresh but still tasty dishes. This delicious dressing is prepared by combining ⅔  of extra virgin olive oil and ⅓  of vinegar and adding a little fine salt. It is important to mix well the liquids well so that the flavors are easily recognizable without overlapping. The basic preparation can be customized in different variations. For example, you can add mustard, black pepper and other spices, to create a different and always tasty vinaigrette every time.

How to make Basic Vinaigrette

Pour the fine salt into a bowl, then add the white vinegar and mix with a whisk to dissolve the salt.

While you continue to mix, pour the extra virgin olive oil slowly to emulsify; alternatively you can also use the mixer.

Add some black pepper if you wish and keep whipping until the vinaigrette is smooth. The two liquids must not be separated, but perfectly emulsified. Your vinaigrette is ready to be used.


– To define the intensity of the sour taste of your vinaigrette, you can increase or decrease the dose of vinegar or, alternatively, replace it with red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar.

– You can also add Dijon mustard and black pepper to the vinegar and oil. In this case, pay attention to the order of insertion of the ingredients: vinegar, mustard, pepper, salt and only at the end the extra virgin olive oil because it is the lightest of all, so it floats.

– Once you have found the right balance of your vinaigrette, you can also add aromatic herbs, such as rosemary, basil, mint, thyme or marjoram.

Vinaigrette Variants

Among the best known variants of the vinaigrette is the citronette. You use lemon juice instead of vinegar for the preparation of this sauce. The final compactness will be the same, but the flavor of the citronette is fresher and it is mainly used to dress salads or white meat, or to marinate meat.

Mustard vinaigrette: vinegar, extra virgin olive oil but also mustard to create a tasty vinaigrette excellent for dressing salads but also fish main courses.

Lemon vinaigrette: finely grate the garlic, add the extra virgin olive oil and mustard. Always stored in the refrigerator, you can season fried foods, salads and grills.

Honey vinaigrette: ideal for seasoning cheeses, vegetables or fruit. Just add a little honey to give it a sweet essence.

Turmeric and cumin vinaigrette: Alternatively you can spice up the vinaigrette with a pinch of turmeric or cumin, which go perfectly with it.

Apple cider vinegar vinaigrette: Using apple cider vinegar in place of wine vinegar makes the dressing more delicate and it can be used for salads and white meats.

Brazilian vinaigrette: in Brazil it is easy to find a vinaigrette with tomatoes and onions, very tasty and good for red meats.

How to store the vinaigrette

You can store the vinaigrette in the refrigerator for a maximum of 2 days in an airtight glass jar. Before using it, mix it as the liquid part and the oily part will tend to separate in the resting phase.

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