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Salad with dressing.jpg

Herbed Dijon Vinaigrette

This traditional French recipe is even more delicious enhanced with the herbs of your choice.

Salad with French Dijon Vinaigrette

Salad with French Dijon Vinaigrette


2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar (plus a little extra if needed at the end)

1-2 Tablespoons finely minced shallot 

2 teaspoons finely chopped herbs of your choice (thyme, parsley, mint and basil are all very nice here)

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more if needed

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (measured into a small bowl)

A few grinds or pinches of black pepper


1.  Choose a medium "non-reactive" bowl, such as stainless steel or glass, to work in.  Add the vinegar, shallot, herbs, salt and mustard to the bowl and use a wire whisk to mix them together completely.

2.  Begin whisking the vinegar mixture, and slowly dribble the olive oil into it, a tablespoon at a time, in a thin stream so that it can be instantly whisked in and will form an emulsion.  (Click here to read a past Make Your Own Lunch lesson and learn the science behind why this works.)  If you start to see drops of oil on the surface of the vinaigrette, stop and vigorously whisk until they disappear, before you add more.  Keep adding the oil, whisking as you go, until it has all been incorporated.

3. Sprinkle a few pinches or grinds of black pepper into the vinaigrette, and mix it in. 

4. Lightly dip a lettuce leaf or other veggie into the vinaigrette and taste it.  Adjust the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper if needed until it is absolutely delicious.  When it tastes so good you want to keep tasting it, it's finished!

5.  Your Herbed Dijon Vinaigrette is ready!  Drizzle it onto your salad just before serving it, serve it as a dip with veggies, or use it as a marinade or sauce with poultry or fish.  This recipe makes enough to keep some in a glass jar for later. It will remain emulsified at room temperature indefinitely, but after a week or so you will need to transfer it to the refrigerator so it will keep longer.  (Be aware that the oil and vinegar will separate in the cold temperature of the refrigerator and the emulsion will not re-form.)