Easy salad dressings

Like home-made mayonnaise, it seems salad dressings are part of a set of mythological recipes that scare people. So here are two very simple examples that will probably become strong favourites.

I personally divide these in two separates categories : the Vinaigrettes – more elaborate – and the salad dressings. So, let’s focus on the latter. French cuisine is all about balancing the flavours. This is why I’ll give you there two very basic salad dressings. A pungent one, and a milder one. These are the dressings I use on an almost daily basis. As Gino D’Acampo loves to put it: “Minimum effort, maximum satisfaction!”

Let’s start with the pungent one, that I call Italian dressing, due to the ingredients. This is the perfect dressing for strong salad leaves like rocket. And as it’s strong-flavoured, it will suit red meats, oily fish, or Mediterranean tomato-based dishes such as Lasagna.


  • 3 Tbsp Extra-virgin Olive Oil

  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (very good quality one)

  • A pinch of fine salt

  • A grind of black pepper

For the milder one, that I call French dressing – also due to the ingredients – it will suit more delicate salad leaves: Pea shoots, spinach, lamb’s lettuce. And this is perfect for milder dishes, such as poached chicken or Quiche Lorraine.


  • 3 Tbsp Walnut Oil ( You can use rapeseed oil also)

  • 1 Tbsp Cider Vinegar

  • A pinch of fine salt

  • A grind of Black Pepper

So, for both, the instructions are the same.


  • Use directly your salad bowl. There’s strictly no need for an extra bowl, or any other receptacle. It doesn’t add anything…just more clutter and washing-up.
  • Pour the vinegar and the salt first, as the salt will dissolve better, and just whisk with a fork. Then pour the oil and the pepper, and whisk again.
  • Put the salad in the bowl, then toss gently until each leaf is delicately coated. The best way to achieve this is with your hands (thoroughly washed, obviously…).

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