The French have long known that Vinaigrette makes a well dressed salad. This classic dressing is a cinch to make at home and handy to keep in the fridge for anytime you need it.
All you need do is remember the proportions of 4 parts oil to 1 part acid, as the basis for your dressing. If you use tablespoons, add 1 tsp Dijon mustard to these proportions. Make this in a jam jar. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Shake and voila – it's ready!
This dressing can double, triple, quadruple in amounts, as long as you stick to the basic proportions. After that, you can add whatever you like to customise your own dressing. Good oil is essential – try a cold pressed Irish Rapeseed Oil instead of the classic extra virgin olive oil. Acid can be anything from Irish apple cider vinegar, to white or red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice. This adds bite to your dressing. Some people add the tiniest pinch of sugar. Others add honey. You can use wholegrain instead of Dijon mustard, for texure and crunch from the whole mustard seed. Fresh herbs, chilli, spices – any of these personalise your dressing, according to the salad you want to use it on. Take the basics and make them into your own designer dressing!