Vinaigrettes are generally three parts oil to one part vinegar. So, to make about 1 cup vinaigrette you will need 3/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup vinegar or other acidic liquid. Exact amounts vary from recipe to recipe; the key is to adjust ingredients to taste. Here are some tips and a list of essential ingredients:
Have all the ingredients at room temperature so vinaigrette emulsifies more easily.
While whisking, drizzle the olive oil in slowly and in a steady stream. The mixture should slowly come together, emulsify and look creamy.
Make vinaigrettes up to three days in advance and refrigerate. When you make the salad, place the greens in a bowl and add the vinaigrette a few tablespoons at a time so it just coats the greens.
Use good-quality fruity or mild olive oil, canola oil, grapeseed, or nut oils such as walnut.
For the vinegars or acids, use balsamic (white or dark), champagne, apple cider, fresh lemon or lime juice, fruit varieties (such as cranberry, pear or raspberry), orange juice, red or white wine, sherry, rice (seasoned or unseasoned) for an Asian spin,à or plain white vinegar.
Season with salt and pepper, Dijon mustard, fresh or dried herbs, minced garlic, minced ginger, honey, lemon or lime zest, chopped nuts, soy sauce, minced shallots and sugar.