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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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vinaigrette also known in Europe as French dressing, is probably the most common dressing for salad (barring commercial preparations) in the western world. It is essentially a ‘mixture’ (inverted commas because oil and vinegar are, strictly speaking, immiscible) of olive or other oil with vinegar (or lemon juice or the like or a combination of some vinegar and some lemon juice), plus salt and pepper and optionally plus herbs, shallot, mustard, etc.

The generally accepted proportion of oil to vinegar is 3 to 1, although some prefer 4 to 1. If lemon juice replaces vinegar, the proportion is closer to 1 to 1. Some authorities recommend that one should begin by dissolving the desired amount of salt in the vinegar, since it will not dissolve in the oil.