Serves 8 (Makes about 1 cup)
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Keep this versatile vinaigrette on hand for any type of salad or whenever a dish needs a flavor boost. By also developing three variations, we’ve eliminated any excuse for relying on preservative-packed store-bought versions. To keep the oil and vinegar from separating, we added two natural emulsifiers, mustard and mayonnaise. Just a tablespoon of molasses stabilized the dressing and further prevented separation without imparting a strong flavor to our vinaigrette. Cutting the olive oil with some vegetable oil ensured that our refrigerated dressing was always pourable. You can use light mayonnaise here. Do not use blackstrap molasses, as its flavor is too strong.
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon table salt
¼ cup white wine vinegar
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 Combine mayonnaise, molasses, mustard, and salt in 2-cup jar with tight-fitting lid. Stir with fork until mixture is milky in appearance and no lumps of mayonnaise or molasses remain. Add vinegar, seal jar, and shake until smooth, about 10 seconds.
2 Add ¼ cup olive oil, seal jar, and shake vigorously until combined , about 10 seconds. Repeat, adding remaining ¼ cup olive oil and vegetable oil in separate additions, shaking vigorously until combined after each. Vinaigrette should be glossy and lightly thickened after all oil has been added, with no surface pools of oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Vinaigrette can be refrigerated for up to 1 week; shake briefly to recombine before using.)
VARIATIONS Make-Ahead Sherry-Shallot Vinaigrette
Substitute sherry vinegar for white wine vinegar. Add 2 teaspoons minced shallot and 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme to jar with mayonnaise.
Make-Ahead Balsamic-Fennel Vinaigrette
Substitute balsamic vinegar for white wine vinegar. Add 2 teaspoons toasted and cracked fennel seeds to jar with mayonnaise.
Make-Ahead Cider-Caraway Vinaigrette
Substitute apple cider vinegar for white wine vinegar. Add 2 teaspoons toasted and cracked caraway seeds to jar with mayonnaise.