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Foolproof Vinaigrette


Makes about 1/4 cup
This master vinaigrette makes enough to dress 8 cups of greens and works with nearly any type of green. We use two emulsifiers to ensure that the vinaigrette doesn’t separate. For a hint of garlic flavor, rub the inside of the salad bowl with a cut clove of garlic before adding the greens.

1 tablespoon red wine, white wine, or champagne vinegar
1½ teaspoons very finely minced shallot
½ teaspoon regular or light mayonnaise
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
⅛ teaspoon table salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


1 Whisk vinegar, shallot, mayonnaise, mustard, and salt together in small bowl. Whisk until mixture is milky in appearance and no lumps of mayonnaise remain.

2 Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in oil until ­emulsified. If pools of oil gather on surface as you whisk, stop adding oil and whisk mixture well to combine, then resume whisking in oil in slow stream. Vinaigrette should be glossy and lightly thickened, with no pools of oil on surface. Season with pepper to taste.


Foolproof Lemon Vinaigrette
This vinaigrette is best for dressing mild greens.

Substitute lemon juice for vinegar. Omit shallot. Add 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest and pinch sugar along with salt.

Foolproof Balsamic-Mustard Vinaigrette
This vinaigrette is best for dressing assertive greens.

Substitute balsamic vinegar for wine vinegar, increase mustard to 2 teaspoons, and add 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme along with salt.

Foolproof Herb Vinaigrette
Add 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley or chives and 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, tarragon, marjoram, or oregano to vinaigrette just before using.