In my family, we never left a piece of lettuce behind. From a young age, I cherished the last wilted pieces of romaine or arugula from the bottom of our wooden salad bowl. My sister and I would save room to maximize the shoveling of lettuce soaked in acidic perfection. As my love for food and cooking grew, this was the first recipe I learned to make. It can be adjusted with herbs, Dijon, cream and more, but this basic dressing is really all one needs.

Greens with Classic Salad Dressing
Classic Salad Dressing

Photos by Nicole Fenton

Classic Salad Dressing

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large shallot
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dollop of Maille Dijon mustard (optional)
  • dollop of half and half or heavy cream (optional)

Method

Mince the shallot finely. Cover it with a pinch of salt and let it macerate for a few minutes. Add lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper to taste and whisk together.

This is a fantastic dressing on its own. I switch between adding Dijon, half and half, or both depending on the rest of the meal. Enjoy!


Clara Lyle spends her days cooking, researching, and writing about food. She grew up in New York City where she was raised on a never ending bicycle-fueled culinary adventure. After some wandering, Clara moved to New Orleans. She is a curator for the Southern Food and Beverage Museum and a cook at Donald Link’s Cochon Restaurant. You can usually find her bicycling around the city or cooking for friends.