Tender spring greens are in season, and when they are gently tossed with this simple vinaigrette – magic happens. Really.  Some time ago, I found this beautiful little vinaigrette recipe in one of my very favorite cookbooks – Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom – written by none other than my idol, Julia Child.  Once I made and tasted this salad dressing, there was no going back to any store bought version.  And when I started making it for friends – we were all hooked!

I have doubled Julia’s recipe, because as many times as I’ve whipped up this concoction, I always wished I had made more!

Julia’s Basic Vinaigrette Dressing  (a la Nora’s tinkering)

1 tablespoon finely minced shallot

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon wine vinegar (I love to use a Champagne vinegar)

1 – 1 1/2 cups of excellent extra virgin olive oil

Freshly ground pepper to taste

In a bowl, mix together shallot, mustard, and salt.  Whisk in lemon juice and vinegar.  Start whisking in the olive oil, little by little, until it looks velvety smooth. Finish with freshly ground pepper.  Now, it’s important to taste this with a piece if salad greens or bread to see how you like the balance of the ingredients. You may want to add a little more of an ingredient, depending on your taste.  I personally like a little “bite” to this dressing, so sometimes I do a little fine tuning by adding a smidge more mustard or vinegar.

I like to serve it right away, either I will dress the salad in a big bowl, or pour the vinaigrette into a small serving bowl or pitcher – add a small whisk , so everyone can give it a swirl, and dress their salad servings accordingly. It’s nice to make this in a bigger batch, because if you’re lucky enough to have some leftover it can stay fresh refrigerated for several days in a jar.

Please let me know how you like it.







  • I also recommend rice vinegar which has a nice natural sweetness to it. I follow a similar recipe. I brought some to work when I contributed a salad for an affair they had, and to my amazement, I was asked to make the dressing for purchase by my co workers. People actually paid me as much as $20 for a small peanut butter sized jar. I couldn’t believe it. It’s so easy to make. I keep telling people your defeating the purpose of eating salads for dieting by buying those high sugar and salt commercial dressings. Make your own everybody!

  • I made the dressing and it was good! I actually found I liked it even more the next day, so for an event I would not be afraid to make it a day ahead.

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