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Recipe: Basic Vinaigrettes

 Basic Vinaigrette I (Lemon)


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This is a bright, acidic dressing, perfect for delicate greens like arugula, mesclun or any of the soft leafy lettuces that children usually prefer.



  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled

  • 1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt (Fine salt is OK, but I think the coarse salt helps break down the garlic.)

  • 1 tsp. mustard

  • 1/2 lemon

  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

  • Pepper


Smash the garlic and the salt together into the mortar. Squeeze in the lemon and mash it all into a fine paste. Let sit for at least 5 minutes, to temper the garlic. Use the mortar to swirl the paste around, almost as if you were whisking it, while pouring in the olive oil in a steady stream. Do this until it has emulsified into one smooth dressing. Toss into washed and dried greens.


Basic Vinaigrette II (Vinegar)


This is a more acidic, more robust dressing. I use it on raw dandelion greens, roasted leeks, asparagus and another favorite for kids, romaine. If you are of the vinegar-loving persuasion, look for sherry vinegar. It has a more complex flavor than red wine vinegar, and is fantastic in this dressing.



  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled

  • 1 anchovy

  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil


Smash the garlic and the anchovy together into the mortar. Add the vinegar and mash it all into a fine paste. Let it set for at least 5 minutes, to temper the garlic. Use the mortar to swirl the paste around, almost as if you were whisking it, while pouring in the olive oil in a steady stream. Do this until it has emulsified into one smooth dressing. Toss into washed and dried greens.


Larissa Phillips is the contributing food editor for Parenthood.com and Dominion Parenting Media.





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