My husband is the kind of caveman who still thinks it's terribly funny to refer to salad as rabbit food. Every once in a while, I can get him to buy in by adding salad helper? to the greens (blue cheese, say, or avocado and cherry tomatoes), but usually it's no sale. My daughter Ruthie and I, however, believe that a meal without salad is like a day without sunshine - which means we need to keep a big supply of dressing on hand if we don't want to make it from scratch every night. null In cooking school they taught is that the basic ratio for a vinaigrette is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. I generally stick to it, but it is a matter of preference. Julia Child liked almost 5 to 1 oil to vinegar, and my old boss at La Tulipe liked even more oil than that. Whatever your pleasure, if you're mixing up any, you might as well make a week's worth. It'll keep just fine sitting on the counter, covered. null My mom, by the way, makes the best vinaigrette, and she never measures a thing. I don't know how she does it. She just pours it all into a bowl and whisks it up, and it turns out perfectly balanced. That doesn't work for me; if I don't measure, it ends up too oily or too vinegary. On the other hand, if I do measure, it still isn't as good as my mom's. Humble in the face of this mystery, I pull out all the ingredients whenever she visits and beg her to whip up a triple batch.
Combine the salt, mustard, and vinegar in a glass measuring cup and whisk with a fork until the salt is dissolved. Slowly add the oil in a stream, whisking. The vinaigrette keeps, covered, at room temperature for 1 week or in the refrigerator for a month.
Recipe courtesy of Sara Moulton, Sara Moulton Cooks at Home, Broadway Books, 2002