Monday, March 11, 2013

Recipe: Vinaigrette Dressing (Delia Smith)

Vinaigrette refers to a mixture of oils, vinegar and sometimes flavoured with herbs and spices and is most commonly used as a salad dressing. It is also known as "French dressing". According to Delia, when it comes to dressing a salad properly, we can learn from the French, in her words "they dress their salads with a lot of care". Delia suggests using either wine vinegar, cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar and never malt vinegar as it is way too strong.  I usually go for wine or balsamic vinegar.

My favorite mix is a ratio of 2:1 extra virgin olive oil to balsamic vinegar and some finely chopped shallots and seasoned with salt, pepper and a little soft brown sugar. Delia's vinaigrette dressing consists of English rock salt, garlic, mustard powder, wine or balsamic vinegar, black pepper and olive oil. The ratio of vinegar to olive oil is 1:6. Personally, I feel 6 tablespoons olive oil to 1 tablespoon balsamic is not really balanced, even this time I have reduced it to 4 tablespoons and found it too oily. In future I will further reduce it to 3 tablespoons. And I do like my salad dressing to be on the tart side. The addition of mustard powder is as an emulsifier to stabilise the mixture, and also to flavour the vinaigrette.

Other variations of this vinaigrette dressing includes herbs (add freshly chopped chives, tarragon, parsley, basil, chervil, mint, oregano or thyme) and lemon (use lemon juice instead of vinegar for a more tart dressing).

This vinaigrette dressing was used in this brown rice salad recipe (click for recipe).

Vinaigrette dressing
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Serves 4

1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 rounded teaspoon mustard powder
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Freshly milled black pepper

1. Begin by placing the salt in the mortar and crush it to a powder, then add the garlic and, pound together until you get a smooth paste.

2. Next add the mustard powder, balsamic vinegar and some pepper, and mix thoroughly until the salt dissolves.

3. Finally, add the olive oil, and whisk vigorously until blended. Whisk again before dressing the salad.


I am submitting this to the "Cook Like Delia Smith" bloghop which I am co-hosting with Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Mich of Piece of Cake. To join, simply cook or bake any recipe from any Delia Smith websites or cookbooks and blog hop with us for the whole month of March 2013.

Your post must be a current post i.e. posted in March 2013 - please do not link older posts.Please mention Cook like a Star in your post and link back to Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Mich of Piece of Cake and Baby Sumo of Eat your heart out.

You can get the HTML code here: get the InLinkz code (Click on the link, copy and paste the HTML code into your blog post where you want the blog hop list to appear. Make sure you are in HTML mode when you paste in the code)

Happy cooking! Do check out the other bloggers recipe below:



  1. Hi Yen,

    My son and I are big fans of balsamic vinegar and we consume balsamic dressing at least 2-3 times a week. Never follow a recipe strictly... only "agak agak" :D

    The addition of mustard sounds interesting.


    1. Hi Zoe, thanks for reminding me. The mustard powder is used as an emulsifier to stabilise the mixture, also to flavour the vinaigrette.

      I used to do agak-agak, but since I know how I like it, I always follow the same 2: 1 ratio :)

  2. yes, I agree with Zoe, I have made this dressing before but I never used mustard. Will add in some and see how it taste... and I m too lazy so I just use blender or just mixed it with hands... hehehe

    1. Jen, my usual method also just stir in a bowl. Much easier!!

  3. I also like my dressing to be more tart and less oily...

  4. ah the vinaigrette, such an important component of a good tasting salad. yeah, I've seen recipes with a 6:1 blend too but for me I usually stick to a 3:1 or 2:1. Good share :)

  5. My Mum has been using this type of dressing for a long time and we all love it!

  6. I like vinaigrette dressing for my salad too, healthier than mayo :P

  7. Hi Yen,
    We use to salad with mayo. Oh! I must switch to this vinaigrette dressing for a healthier choice. Thanks for sharing!

  8. This is delicious on warm boiled new potatoes.


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