This classic sauce is perfect on a green salad, yes, but it has many other uses in the kitchen. Vinaigrette makes a great marinade for roasted, broiled, or grilled chicken or fish. You can use it as a dipping sauce for crudités or chicken wings. It can replace mayo as a flavorful binder for tuna, potato, chicken, and shrimp salads. Vinaigrette also makes a great sauce for cooked fish or meats.
Sign up for the Notes from the Test Kitchen newsletter
Our favorite tips and recipes, enjoyed by 2 million+ subscribers!
But you have to know a couple tricks to make vinaigrette well.
The Two Keys to Making Vinaigrette
Vinaigrette is a mixture of fat and acid, most commonly oil and vinegar—two components that chemically do not want to mix.
- To get oil and vinegar to emulsify, you must agitate them via shaking or whisking. We like to shake the vinaigrette in a small Mason jar with a lid or a clean jelly jar. As for whisking, our testing has shown that a side-to-side motion is the most efficient stroke.
- The vinaigrette will come together more readily with the addition of emulsifying boosters (or surfactants: ingredients that contain molecules that essentially act as chemical magnets to help the oil and vinegar hold together) such as honey, molasses, mayonnaise, and mustard.
Serves 4 (Makes ¼ cup)
Total Time: 15 Minutes
The vinaigrette will keep for three days in the refrigerator. Shake well before using. If you prefer, you can whisk the vinaigrette together in a bowl and skip the jar. This recipe makes enough to dress 8 cups of greens.
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon minced shallot
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon regular or light mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
Combine vinegar and shallot in small jar; let sit for 5 minutes. Add oil, honey, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper to jar. Affix lid and shake vigorously until emulsified, about 30 seconds.