Skip to content


The Secret Behind a Tasty Homemade Vinaigrette

A good salad can easily become the star of a meal. Fresh ingredients, a little creativity, a sense of presentation and a good homemade dressing are the keys to a salad to remember. But... what's the secret behind a good homemade dressing? Well, for years this has been one of the questions Elisabeth has been asked most often. So much so that she has wondered if she is sometimes invited just to make the dressing! After more than 30 years of experimenting, she now tries to answer this question as simply as possible.


There is a misconception that making a good dressing or sauce to accompany a dish is complicated. To make a good dressing, you need simple and fresh ingredients, and in particular, good quality oil. That's what's often missing from a dressing, a good, fresh, tasty unrefined oil. A real virgin oil is much more than fat... it is a natural compound of colours and especially of flavours. So you don't need 500 herbs that have been sitting in the back of your pantry for ages to try and give your dressing a kick and make a salad an amazing dish!  



Without further ado, here are our best tips to make an exceptional and delicious vinaigrette. 

Watch the video with English subtitles.

Start by getting a Mason jar with a lid. It's a common kitchen item that allows you to see what you're making and, more importantly, to keep the dressing in the fridge for a week. After all, if you're going to take the time to make your dressing, you might as well make enough for a week, right? 

Proportions count. Depending on your taste, allow three to four parts oil to one part vinegar. Start by putting the vinegar in your Mason jar. Here, there is no shortage of choice: balsamic for body, red wine for a lively side, cider for the little taste that reassures, white balsamic for its roundness. For a change of pace, or to pass up ugly fruit, citrus juice is a good substitute for vinegar.

 Add a touch of Dijon mustard or old-fashioned mustard or not, as you wish. A tablespoon should be enough. Add salt and pepper generously at this stage so that the salt can dissolve in the vinegar . Now add a chopped clove of garlic, shallot or green onion and, if you have any on hand, chopped fresh herbs. For a little more sweetness, you can add a spoonful of honey or maple syrup. Now, put the lid on and give it a good shake to mix it well for the first time. 

Now we move on to the serious stuff! Here we repeat ourselves, but the quality of the oil makes the difference. We suggest you use a virgin oil or better yet a mixture of two, depending on what you have in the pantry. Virgin oils have a "best before" date that guarantees their freshness and gives you a good idea of when they were pressed. In general, a virgin oil will keep for fourteen to eighteen months. It is always better to have two or three oils on hand and use them on a daily basis, rotating them, rather than buying large quantities.

Choose an unrefined oil rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (olive, hazelnut, sesame or oleic sunflower) and an unrefined oil rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids containing omega-3 (canola, walnut or flaxseed). This way, you will cover your needs for various fatty acids and add a unique touch to your dressing. 

As mentioned above, three to four parts oil to one part vinegar should give you a well-balanced dressing. The difference between three parts and four parts is whether you like acidity or not. The more oil you use, the less acidic the dressing will be. To finish your vinaigretteSimply add the oil to the Mason jar and stir vigorously for a few seconds before dressing the salad.



Very important point according to Elisabeth: "I always find a salad that has been tossed with the dressing more satisfying than having the salad on a plate and the dressing to add. But here, it's to each his own. However, if you do decide to dress the salad with the dressing for everyone, make sure you do it at the right time, a few minutes before you eat it, to avoid it getting soggy. Most importantly, take the time to add the dressing in small amounts to avoid drowning it in the dressing. Unfortunately, this often happens. It's better to add more, because it's impossible to remove it. Toss gently and at the same time, as one should do with every dish one serves, check the pepper and salt seasoning of your salad."





Here are a few successful combinations that are timeless classics from which you can start experimenting:

  • Dark balsamic vinegar, sea salt, fresh pepper, extra virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, garlic and basil ;
  • Cider vinegar, sea salt, fresh pepper, virgin sunflower oil, old-fashioned mustard, shallots and maple syrup (Elisabeth's favourite) 
  • Red wine vinegar, sea salt, fresh pepper, oregano and extra virgin olive oil or garlic olive oil;
  • Half and half, tamari and cider vinegar, fresh pepper, toasted sesame oil, tahini and chives ;
  • White balsamic vinegar, sea salt, fresh pepper, Dijon mustard, virgin canola and sunflower oil, dill, green onion and a touch of honey ;
  • White wine vinegar, sea salt, fresh pepper, walnut oil, garlic and thyme.




Now, for those in a hurry... Maison Orphée also offers seven flavours of vinaigrettes made "almost" like at home. No more reason to shy away from your greens, your salads will never have looked so good! 

Discover our seven tasty flavours here.

Older Post
Newer Post
Close (esc)


Use this popup to embed a mailing list sign up form. Alternatively use it as a simple call to action with a link to a product or a page.

Age verification

By clicking enter you are verifying that you are old enough to consume alcohol.


Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Shop now