Lemon Vinaigrette

Two jars of lemon vinaigrette, two lemon halves, and a wire whisk.

[Editor’s Note: It may take a moment—actually, a couple paragraphs—to comprehend the connection between fashion and food such as lemon vinaigrette. But patience, dear reader, as the point the author makes is a sound one.] The French eat well. The French dress well, as evidenced by this lemon vinaigrette recipe. And their style secret, reports a stylish friend, is this: one outfit. Which is good news. It demystifies the French mystique and it qualifies me for a French passport.

I’ve long stood steadfast by my rule: One girl, one outfit. In second grade I relied on a yellow floral maxi and copper enamel peace pendant. I spent much of college in itchy pink capris. But basic, which is to say black, is best.

Once you’ve settled on a look, it will come in handy all the time. The zip- back microfiber tank dress, for instance, works with sandals in summer, a blouse in fall, sweater in winter, and T-shirt in spring. It pairs nicely with a jacket for day or pearls for night. It shrugs off playground spatter or commuter grime. It can, in a pinch, double as nightgown.

The repetitive look frees the budget for other concerns. Like double portions of shoes and handbags, which my friend assures me are the Hamburger Helper of the French fashion diet. After a year, the French retire the old and invest in the new. I’ve been stretching my black-on-black best a couple of seasons now and have yet to experience the urge to shop. I’m hoping this makes me doubly chic.

I don’t believe in changing salad dressing any more than clothes. I’ve been relying on this recipe for decades and it has yet to fail me. Stylish on any salad.–Leah Eskin

LC Dress To Impress Note

Just like the author said, this lemon vinaigrette recipe is stylish on darn near any salad. We know because our recipe testers said so—actually, they literally swooned over its versatility. Take a gander at their comments—all two dozen of them— found beneath the recipe for inspiration on what to drip, dribble, and drizzle this vinaigrette over any time you want to dress to impress.

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • Makes about 1/2 cup
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Pour the lemon juice into a small bowl. Whisk in the mustard and sugar.

Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly, until the lemon vinaigrette is shiny and smooth.

Stir in salt to taste and, if you’re feeling fancy, chives. Dribble the lemon vinaigrette over anything and everything you please.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

Not too much to say here other than this is a very easy and quick recipe if you want a fresh dressing for a weeknight salad. I made this lemon vinaigrette a few times over the past couple weeks and it's always tasty. I love the addition of sugar, which is something I might not have thought of, but it really takes some of the edge of the mustard and the lemon's acid. I tried the vinaigrette with chives and it's great, but it's still a top-notch dressing without them.

Once you start making your own salad dressings, it’s hard to ever go back. This is a fine lemon vinaigrette recipe to add to your repertoire. Light, fresh, easy, and appealing, it spans all the seasons and nicely dresses a wide range of types of greens. Tonight I served it on a 50/50 mix of baby spinach and a mesclun-type mix of spring greens, unadorned by any other vegetables or fruits. Perfect! I’m generally not a big salter, but I went two rounds with the salt, which I think really perked up this dressing.

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