French Recipe for a Basic Vinaigrette

November 20, 2020  |  By Peg Kern
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Chef Mark's Basic VinaigretteOne of the simplest but more important of recipes, a basic vinaigrette lends itself to all manner of dishes, including of course salads, fish, meat, and other vegetables. Chef Mark Haskell of our new cooking vacation Cuisine and Culture of Provence shares his basic vinaigrette recipe with us, and gives us an alternative with an Asian flair!

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Basic Vinaigrette

Ingredients:Bottles of French mustard

  • 1/2 Tbsp shallot, finely minced, or garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon-type mustard
  • 1/2 Tbsp wine vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup excellent olive oil, or other fine, fresh oil
  • Freshly ground pepper

1. Stir the shallots or garlic together with the mustard and salt.
2. Whisk in the lemon juice and vinegar, and when blended start slowly whisking in the oil, making a smooth emulsion.
3. Add the freshly ground pepper and taste (not on its own, on a bit of lettuce or other vegetable).
4. Correct the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper, and/or a bit of lemon juice.

Check out Mark’s recipe for a traditional anchoiade from Provence.

Southeast Asia ingredients for cooking classesAsian Vinaigrette


  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp of nam pla, fish sauce, or soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, Thai basil, or chile peppers (optional)

A beautiful salad in ProvenceMix the ingredients together, adding the herbs (if used) at the end.

How to use these wonderful vinaigrettes? Chef Mark recommends the following options:
1. Asian Salad/Slaw: shredded carrots, scallions, cabbage, green papaya, sweet peppers, jicama, cucumbers.
2. Salad of Potato & Pickled Onion: poached & sliced potato, fresh herbs, pickled red onion, pickles or capers, and vinaigrette.
3. Warm Salad of Green Lentils: cooked green (le Puy) lentils, diced carrots, leeks, turnips, peppers, heated with vinaigrette.

Interested in cooking with Chef Mark in sunny Provence? check out our week-long Cuisine and Culture of Provence cooking vacation.

Try another recipe from chef Mark for Duck and Andouille Gumbo.

By Peg Kern

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