To dress a salad

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes enough for


    large salad

Appears in

Old Food

Old Food

By Jill Dupleix

Published 1998

  • About

This is the only vinaigrette recipe you need, for any salad you care to name. An entrepreneurial Frenchman in London, the Chevalier d’Albignac, popularised the idea of ‘French dressing’ throughout English society. You can change the vinegar (white or red wine vinegar, sherry, balsamic or lemon juice), the lemon rind (to orange rind, olives or garlic), and the mustard (to eschalots, anchovies or yoghurt), but it’s still the only recipe you’ll ever need.


  • 2 tbsp champagne vinegar
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp grated lemon rind
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


Combine vinegar, salt, pepper, lemon rind and mustard in a bowl. Whisk in olive oil, slowly, until mixture thickens. Taste and adjust flavours accordingly. Use for seafood, greens and vegetable salads.

P.S. Often I add a dribble of whatever dry white wine I am drinking at the time of making the salad, or the oil from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes, whatever fresh herbs I like at the time, a few capers, or shavings of nutty Parmigiano. Note the ‘or’ is not an ‘and’. With a good salad, less is more.