Cookbook author and New York Times food columnist Melissa Clark shares her go-to vinaigrette, which is as quick and easy as it is tasty. “One of the reasons why store-bought salad dressing is popular is because of its convenience, that bottle just waiting in the fridge, ready to make your salad sparkle,” she says. “But a jar of homemade dressing in the fridge is just as convenient—after you’ve spent the 48 seconds it takes to make it.” And it keeps for up to a month in the fridge!  

Pro Tip from Melissa: She likes to make vinaigrettes with a mini whisk—one of her three must-have kitchen gadgets—because it gives her a lot of control and she can whisk really quickly. 

For more recipes from Melissa, check out her Buttermilk Strawberry Scones and Easy Skillet Chicken Parm


  • 3 tablespoons vinegar (red wine, white wine, balsamic, rice wine and cider are good ones), plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Large pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, optional
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil


Serves: Makes 2/3 cup, enough to dress 4 to 6 salads


Put the vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk until the salt dissolves, about 10 seconds. Whisk in the mustard (if using). 

Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly, until the dressing looks thick and well mixed. Taste and add a little more vinegar if it tastes flat, or salt if it needs it, whisking after each addition. Use immediately or transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to a month. Shake well before using.