Favorite French Vinaigrette

Serves: 4-6  | 5 Minute Prep Time | 0 Minutes to Cook

If you love salads as much as I do, you’ll want to make your own salad dressings. The prep work is easier than you think, and once you get a few recipes in your rotation, homemade salad dressings are life-changing (OK, salad-changing, but still).  Ever since I asked some chef friends and foodies for their favorite go-to salad dressings a few years ago, I stopped buying the bottled stuff. Not only is it freeing to not have to check out food labels for the latest and greatest mixes, but my salads have never tasted better.

This bold and beautiful French vinaigrette recipe was shared with me by Maite Gomez-Rejon of Artbites, an educational company whose classes combine art history and culinary history. Maite traces the history of food through art collections at some of the country’s top museums, then ends every class with a fun cooking class (check out her upcoming calendar and if you’re in her area, you must sign up!). So, Maite told me her favorite dressing comes via the co-founder of Food 52, Amanda Hessler. This mix is in-your-face lemon-y and garlicky with just a touch of anchovy (feel free to add more anchovy or more garlic). And, if you think you don’t like anchovies, join the club. I also won’t eat them whole, but when mashed into oblivion, you won’t know the anchovies were ever there, and they add the very best flavor. Do choose anchovies in a glass jar if available.

You’ll also need a mortar and pestle (I’m coveting this marble and metal one while this marble mortar and pestle is a steal for only $7.99. Other than the anchovies and mortar and pestle, you probably have all the other ingredients for this recipe on hand.

I love this versatile dressing on everything from green salads to a simple radicchio salad to a quinoa or grains mix. Make a big batch to last you all week, enjoy, and keep passing this great recipe along.


  1. Place the anchovy, garlic clove and a pinch of salt in the mortar. Using the pestle, mash together until you form a paste.
  2. Add the juice of the lemon and Dijon mustard and mix well. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.


  • 1-2 anchovies from a glass jar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil (I love a fruit Arbequina olive oil)
  • freshly ground black pepper

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