YIELD1/3 cup, enough for a salad serving 4 to 6 people
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Karsten Moran for The New York Times
A basic vinaigrette deserves a permanent spot in every cook’s repertoire. Ready in minutes and fine to keep in the fridge for weeks, it can totally change a salad. And it’s highly adaptable. Add garlic or tarragon in place of the mustard, or infuse it with other herbs. For a creamy dressing, replace the oil with buttermilk, crème fraîche or mayonnaise. Some chefs even use vegetable purées or nut milks in place of the oil.
2tablespoons wine vinegar
¼cup olive oil
1teaspoon mustard (optional)
Pour vinegar into a shallow bowl. Whisk in salt.
Gradually whisk in olive oil. Adding it slowly will help the dressing emulsify. Whisk in the mustard, if using.
Add a few grinds of black pepper and taste. Add more of whatever you think it needs, a bit at a time. (Too tart? Add oil. Too bland? Add salt and vinegar.)