This basic vinaigrette is easy to make with pantry staples, including sherry vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, shallot, and garlic. So long, store-bought vinaigrette.

Although the classic oil to vinegar ratio for vinaigrettes is 3 to 1, this is 2 to 1 for a more bracing experience. A good homemade vinaigrette is all about personal taste, though, so after shaking together the ingredients, dip a spoon into it (or better yet, a leaf of lettuce), and taste it yourself. If it’s too vinegary, add a splash more oil, though do know it will mellow a little when tossed with the salad.–Sheela Prakash

A glass jar half-filled with basic vinaigrette with measuring spoons, a shallot, and two garlic cloves on the side.

Basic Vinaigrette

5 / 2 votes
This basic vinaigrette is easy to make with pantry staples, including sherry vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, shallot, and garlic. So long, store-bought vinaigrette.
Servings8 servings | 1 cup total
Calories163 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup sherry vinegar (or substitute red wine vinegar)
  • 1 small garlic clove grated
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (regular, whole-grain, or a combination)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • In a fine-mesh strainer, rinse the minced shallot with cool water to take away some of its sting.
  • In a Mason jar or container with a lid, combine the drained shallot, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, Dijon, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and several grinds of black pepper.
  • Seal the jar or container and shake vigorously to emulsify. Taste and, if desired, add a splash more olive oil and some more salt and/or pepper.
  • The dressing can be used immediately or refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. If the oil solidifies in the fridge, let the vinaigrette rest on the counter for a few minutes. Shake well before using.
Mediterranean Every Day Cookbook.

Adapted From

Mediterranean Every Day

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Serving: 2 tablespoonsCalories: 163 kcalCarbohydrates: 0.4 gProtein: 0.1 gFat: 18 gSaturated Fat: 2 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 13 gSodium: 15 mgPotassium: 12 mgFiber: 0.1 gSugar: 0.1 gVitamin A: 1 IUVitamin C: 0.3 mgCalcium: 3 mgIron: 0.2 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2020 Sheela Prakash. Photo © 2020 Kristin Teig Photography. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This vinaigrette is so simple to make but so delicious. I always have some sort of homemade vinaigrette in the fridge and this is definitely going to be added to the weekly rotation. I already had it on my lunch today!

I used red wine vinegar as that’s what I had on hand and regular Dijon. A jar like this lasts a week in my house being served on side salads daily and the odd lunchtime salad. So 14 side salads and 2 large lunch salads (I eat a lot of salad).

This is now my new basic vinaigrette! Everything about it screamed that I was going to love it—and I did! I usually make my own simple vinaigrette with a variety of vinegars and like the more bracing 2 to 1 ratio with oil to vinegar, but have always just used regular Dijon as my emulsifier. With this vinaigrette recipe, I went wild and used the combination of 1 teaspoon Dijon with 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard and what a huge difference that made. So good and definitely more exciting!

I used red wine vinegar and 1/2 medium shallot. I also really liked the grated garlic clove in this vinaigrette. After adding all the ingredients and shaking it all up, I tasted it, and it didn’t need anything else added. It was perfect as it was and had such a wonderfully balanced flavor. I usually toss the salad ingredients with a little salt and pepper before adding the vinaigrette, so I didn’t want to add additional salt to the vinaigrette.

This made 1 cup vinaigrette, and I used about 3 tablespoons of it for a big salad last night with all kinds of good stuff included in it to go along with grilled bacon-wrapped filet mignons. Tonight, it’s going to dress a simple green salad to accompany some braised pork chops. It has found a happy home in my fridge!!!

I am a HUGE fan of homemade salad dressings, preferring the fresh taste and flexibility of doing it yourself. I loved the speed at which it came together with no special tools or hard-to-find ingredients.

For those who aren’t fans of super-sour dressings, sherry vinegar is a must-try that adds some flavor without the pronounced sour taste. It’s light and doesn’t turn your greens into a wilted mush!

This is excellent as-is, but can definitely be altered to highlight specific ingredient flavors or meal themes. Based on what this is used for, I might add some fruit juice or other sweetener, especially if you plan to use this on bitter greens. It’s a great base, but has a lot of potential to make a spectacular addition to a complex salad.

You could try different mustards. Include some jam or preserves to thicken it up and add some additional sweet on top of the sour. Try a flavored oil instead of plain EVOO.

True to its name, this recipe produces a solid basic everyday vinaigrette. I often keep a small jar of homemade vinaigrette in the refrigerator, but I usually make it by sight and taste rather than measuring. It’s helpful to have a recipe on standby and the measurements in this recipe work.

I would this makes about 18 servings. We don’t use that much dressing on our salads so it will last us a while.

I didn’t adjust anything with the dressing after tasting it, but I would have actually liked a little more vinegar. (Of course, I sometimes dress salads for myself with red wine vinegar and nothing else. I love vinegar.) By the time it was on the salad and had mellowed, the balance seemed right.

I used Columela Jerez sherry vinegar, California Olive Ranch Everyday Blend extra virgin olive oil, regular Grey Poupon Dijon, and 4 grinds of black pepper.

The first salad it went on was romaine, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber, and it was delightful.

Just like the title states, this is a good basic vinaigrette. We liked the vinegar to oil ratio and didn’t need to add any additional oil. Easy—put all the ingredients in a jar and shake. You could add additional herbs or flavor if desired, but it’s very tasty as written.

The mixture emulsified beautifully with the measurements given.

I love shallots in vinaigrette, and the simplicity of this recipe really appealed to me. I like the practicality of having homemade dressing ready to go in the fridge, and this made enough for a few days of salad—the perfect amount.

I also like that this base can be tailored in multiple ways by adding a few drops of honey, fresh lemon or orange juice, smashed anchovies, different herbs, etc.

This is a flavorful go-to vinaigrette recipe!

I used to be, many moons ago, very familiar with those little packets of Good Seasons Italian Dressing. There was a time when I thought that that was the be-all and end-all of salad dressings. I wouldn’t stoop to buy bottled salad dressing. No, not me. I made it myself. Being the rebel that I was, and liking a more acidic dressing than I ended up with, with Good Seasons, I did not pay attention to the measurements marked on the cruet. Again, oh no, not me. I had my own way of making the dressing, to achieve the best dressing known to mankind. Fast forward to today.

We eat a lot of salads, and we have had a “house” Dijon vinaigrette for years, that we have always been very happy with. Well, move over house dressing, this vinaigrette just blew you out of the water. This dressing is just about perfect. We like dressings that are a bit heavy on the vinegar, and a bit lighter on the oil, like this one is. (And like my Good Seasons, I think, turned out. But who knows.) In addition, the sherry vinegar, which I used, elevated it even more. Rinsing the raw shallot is a fabulous idea, one that I often forget about. It does take the sharpness that raw shallot tends to have away. I am very happy I have quite a bit of the cup of dressing left, for salads for this week. A new tradition is born.

Originally published September 01, 2020

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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