Here’s a recipe to memorize! This Bistro Vinaigrette is easy, delicious and customizable in a bajillion ways-by changing the vinegar, adding herbs, spices, mixing and matching whatever you want.
It’s my go-to salad dressing recipe and is compatible with just about every salad you might make. It’s sharp enough to stand on its own, but bright and fruity enough to play well with other ingredients. The gist of the recipe is to combine minced shallots with whatever vinegar you want and let sit to mellow them out a bit, then add good Dijon mustard (like my favorite, Maille) and a neutral-flavored oil like grapeseed or vegetable oil. GASP! No extra-virgin olive oil?!!?! To hold true to tradition, I would say no, but hey, I’m not in your kitchen to stop you. Honestly, I’ve seen some recipes with olive oil, or a combination of olive and neutral oil and they would all be delicious.
I got the recipe from the cookbook Tasting Paris by Clotilde Dusoulier, who runs the French blog Chocolate and Zucchini. The French eat a simple green salad with just about every dinner, and this is the dressing you’d be served in any bistro, brasserie or home with your salad. The Francophile in me is screaming with delight to be able to make a recipe so basic but quintessentially French whenever I want.
Yield: about 2/3 cup dressing
Inspiration: Bistro Vinaigrette from Tasting Paris by Clotilde Dusoulier
1/2 small shallot, finely minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon vinaigrette
6 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Combine the shallot, a pinch of salt and the vinegar and let stand for 10 minutes to take the bite off the shallot. Add the mustard, whisking to combine. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly to emulsify the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.