Classic Mustard Vinaigrette

Courtesy of chef/educator Nancy Krcek Allen of Traverse City’s City Kitchen

Most French children learn how to whisk vinaigrette before they can reach the kitchen counter! A great salad begins with great vinaigrette. This vinaigrette is light, delicious, and will keep for months!

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons vinegar or acid (like citrus)
9 to 12 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or grapeseed oil, salt and pepper, sweetener, and herbs, to taste.

Set up a bowl that won’t slip around: A damp towel wrapped around the bottom of the bowl forms a solid base. Place mustard into bowl. Add acid and whisk well to combine.

Measure oil into a container with a spout or lip. Slowly, drop by drop, whisk oil into the acid-mustard mixture. If you go to fast, the vinaigrette will break, or separate–it won’t be able to disperse oil droplets and emulsify them quickly enough. When the vinaigrette begins to visibly thicken, increase drops of oil to a thin stream. Taste the vinaigrette with a lettuce leaf before you add all the oil. Adjust the flavors of the vinaigrette with more oil or acid, salt and pepper, sweetener and herbs.

If your vinaigrette separates, place a little more mustard into a clean mixing bowl and slowly, drop by drop, whisk the broken vinaigrette into it. Taste and adjust.

Try new combos: Try Asian sesame oil and rice vinegar, or balsamic vinegar and walnut oil.

Save your arm: Make vinaigrette in a blender.

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