A Simple Salad Dressing

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A Simple Salad Dressing

Simple salad dressing

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Despite the fact that I cook a lot and mostly it turns out okay, I have always struggled with salad dressings.  I don’t know why I’m so challenged by mixing together a bit of oil and vinegar and one or two other ingredients but I am.  On one of my very earliest dates with my now-partner he turned up for dinner and had to make the dressing because I’d made something that even he had to admit wasn’t quite edible!  So for me the holy grail is a simple salad dressing recipe that just works every time – and I think I might have found it 🙂

We had Sunday lunch at my partner’s parent’s house for Easter where we always enjoy good, interesting food.  On this occasion his Dad made a really interesting salad for a starter.  (Unfortunately I didn’t take a photograph so that’s just my plain old salad in the picture below.)  It had chicory, blue cheese, apple, walnuts and celery; a bit like a Russian salad but from a Raymond Blanc book, “Simple French Cookery”.  The dressing was really good so I wrote down the recipe and tried it earlier this week. 

Simple salad dressing and salad

I don’t know whether it’s the addition of water but the dressing emulsifies really well and even when you leave it to stand the oil and vinegar don’t separate so you can make it and keep it in the fridge.  I changed the recipe a little bit just to suit the oil and vinegar that I had available.  You could tweak it by replacing some of the olive oil with a flavoured oil (maybe garlic or lemon-infused) or a nut oil.  The original recipe uses half olive oil, half walnut oil.

A Simple Salad Dressing

Servings 4


  • 1 dsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 dsp wine vinegar I used red
  • 2 dsp water
  • 4 dsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and black pepper to season


  • Whisk the mustard, vinegar and water together.
  • Add the oil a little at a time whisking to combine it.
  • Season to taste with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.


Adapted from Simple French Cookery by Raymond Blanc
A note about salt

You might have noticed that I rarely mention salt in my recipes. I just don’t use it a lot. I’m sure a lot of people would think my cooking is ‘under seasoned’ but I have to watch my blood pressure and I’m used to not using much. There are some things, like rice, where I add a bit at the table but I rarely add it into my cooking.