Basic Vinaigrette

This basic recipe is very convenient. Once made, it can sit in your fridge and can be used at any time and for any dish you might fancy. The vinegar just gives a very slight sweetness to the taste.


  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil (French or Italian)
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) ground-nut oil
  • 25 ml (1 fl oz) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • ½ bunch of fresh tarragon
  • 3–4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 12 black peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt


Warm the olive and ground-nut oil together. Place all the remaining ingredients into a 750 ml ( pint) bottle. Pour the oil into the bottle and close with a cork or screw top. For the best results, leave to marinate for a week which will allow all the flavours to enhance the oils. To help the dressing along, shake the bottle once a day. Taste for seasoning before using.

“Warming olive oil will help to release the maximum flavour.”