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Classic Vinaigrette

Sep 18, 2006
Recipe Type:

This is a bare-bones vinaigrette recipe from Julia Child's Kitchen Wisdom book. Its beauty lies solely in the quality of your ingredients. Note that you will so often see proportions of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil, but that can make a very acid, very vinegary vinaigrette. Child recommends the proportions of a very dry martini, since you can always add more vinegar or lemon but you can't take it out. Try it on salad or on lightly steamed vegetables that have cooled to room temperature.


  • 1/2 tablespoon finely minced shallot or scallion
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon-type mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup excellent olive oil, or other fine, fresh oil
  • Freshly ground pepper


Either shake all the ingredients together in a screw-topped jar, or mix them individually as follows. Stir the shallots or scallions together with the mustard and salt. Whisk in the lemon juice and vinegar, and when well blended start whisking in the oil by droplets to form a smooth emulsion. Beat in freshly ground pepper. Taste (dip a piece of the salad greens into the sauce) and correct seasoning with salt, pepper, and/or drops of lemon juice. Yield: For about 2/3 cup, serving 6 to 8

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