Grandma’s little secret (sauce)

french salad dressing

It’s been years since I’ve bought any kind of salad dressing, in fact, no one really does it here.

Whenever I visit my parents, my mom always asks me to whip something up because I feel relatively comfortable doing so. It makes me laugh because she’s the one who got me onto homemade dressings to begin with. The recipe she would use is incredibly good, but admittedly more involved than some.

It was while I was living in Arles that I developed a better sense of what I was doing thanks to the elderly woman next door. She coached me through her method and when I got back to Canada I bought myself a little Emile Henry salad dressing bowl just like the one we used there to make my own in my Canadian (now French) kitchen.

But this recipe is a little different and even simpler.

Whenever we find ourselves in Champagne visiting Jérémie’s parents, there’s always a salad at the table. A dead simple salad like you’ve probably seen in every French bistro. Just salad leaves and dressing, no fanciness whatsoever, and yet, every time I ate it, I loved it. Well, last year I finally got the courage to ask her how she makes it. 

I think she nearly fell over. 

When she told me what was in it, I nearly fell over.

I nearly fell over because what tasted so clean and fresh was way too easy to even need a recipe, still, I didn’t know it and now I’m going to share it with you.

One thing I will mention is that because it’s so simple, I urge you to use high quality ingredients because the flavours really come through! I’ve used Neolea Olive oil. They were kind enough to send me this bottle to try and it was perfect because it’s got a nice fresh flavour that lends itself to such a simple “recipe.”

I’d love it if you’d try it out and let me know how it goes.

french dressing recipe

Simple French Dressing

A very simple, one-bowl French dressing
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine French


  • Salt and Pepper
  • ¼ Shallot finely chopped
  • 1 soup spoon White/Red Wine Vinegar
  • 3 soup spoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  • Place a small covering of salt and a dash of pepper over the bottom of your salad bowl
  • Finely chop your shallot and add it to the bowl
  • Using a generous soup spoon measure a nice Red or White wine vinegar into the bowl to melt the salt
  • Add 3 soup spoons of olive oil and mix
  • Taste and adjust seasoning if needed
  • Add your favourite salad greens and toss just before serving


*It's so easy, you may want to pour yourself a glass of wine. You can't screw this up!


french salad dressingsimple frech dressingfrench salad dressing
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