Try a New Recipe: French Dressing

Don’t forget to visit me at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen for more fabulous recipes!

This is a recipe from Julia’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which I made recently for my book club. I just downloaded the picture from my new camera, so I thought I’d post it over here–you saw it here first!

The vinaigrette is super simple and simply delicious! Honestly, you won’t believe how easy it is. Try it and see. I served Salad Composée avec sauce vinaigrette. [Mixed Salad with Vinaigrette]

I used red wine vinegar and the “optional” mustard and left out the herbs on accident! No need to “correct” anything at all. I stored this in the refrigerator overnight, pulled it out early to let the oil come back to room temperature, and shook it up right before I tossed the salad. Quick and easy.

Sauce Vinaigrette

[French Dressing]
For about 1/2 cup

For: salads and simple marinades
Salad dressings are always best when freshly made; if they stand around for several days they tend to acquire a rancid taste.

1/2 to 2 tablespoons good wine vinegar or a mixture of vinegar and lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
6 tablespoons salad oil or olive oil
Big pinch of pepper

Optional: 1 to 2 tablespoons minced green herbs, such as parsley, chives, tarragon, basil; or pinch of dried herbs

EITHER beat the vinegar or lemon juice in a bowl with the salt and optional mustard until the salt is dissolved, then beat in the oil by droplets, and season with pepper, OR place all ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake vigorously for 30 seconds to blend thoroughly.

(guess which method I chose?)

Stir in the optional herbs and correct seasoning just before dressing the salad.


Can’t beat homemade salad dressings. If I ever have to resort to the bottled I have to add to it to give it more of a homemade flair. I like this version of french dressing a lot better than the Americanized version.


I’ve thought about that too…I’m guessing the “French” dressing in the store has been Americanized–just add high fructose corn syrup and food coloring and call it good. Blech. I can’t remember what that stuff even tastes like. But if Julia calls this French Dressing, I believe her! It is very good, let me know what you think!


I just saw this recipe in my Joy of Cooking Cookbook and was trying to figure out how come the French Dressing at the store is red and this one is more like a vinaigrette? It looks good!