This recipe is simple:
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Add rice vinegar to make 50 mL / 1.7 fluid ounces total volume atop the lemon juice (I used one of those Ball half-pint canning jars, and just added everything directly to that. The metric side of the scale on the jar was more convenient to me.)
1.5 teaspoon Dijon mustard
75 mL / 2.5 fluid ounces of oil. I recommend a 1:1 mixture (approximately 37.5 L/1.25 ounces of each) extra virgin olive oil to avocado oil. See below, and no, I don’t expect this to be measured out Exactly!
Two teaspoons Penzy’s Herbes de Provence dried herbal concoction. (I have also (first) used the Country French Vinaigrette mixture, but that one for some odd reason does contain sugar, if you are choosing to avoid).
1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper (approximate)
If you don’t have the Penzy’s, or if it is no longer fresh (dried herbs go south fairly fast), you can make your own blend of: rosemary, fennel, savory, thyme, basil, tarragon, dill weed, oregano, lavender, chervil, or marjoram. Or simply find a good Italian spice mixture.
The vinegar/lemon juice ratio to olive oil is 1 part acidic constituents to 1.5 parts oil. The mustard, besides providing additional flavor, helps the mixture stay together without separating out immediately, and it seems — in these hands, at least — that this ratio of vinegar (water-soluble liquid) to oil is about the minimum oil you can use and keep the emulsion stable. At any rate, add everything to your container, seal tightly, shake vigorously for 2-3 minutes.
While I am a big proponent of healthy oils, as these are, a lot of recipes out there call for 1 part vinegar to three or even four parts oil. I think a bit much. I used rice vinegar and lemon juice because this cuts down on some of the acidity, while still providing flavor, which truly oil-based recipes do not. They’re just sort of slippery!
Those Ball jars have both ounce and metric measurements on them, and things just happened to line up with metric when I’ve been making this, and thus I used conversion software for the English measurements. Since this is not going to be canned for long-term storage — please DO keep this in your fridge! Unless you have a pressure canner, (and even then, I really wouldn’t…) store this in your fridge for up to 6 days.
About the oils: There’s been a lot in the news, especially after Consumer Reports helped break the item last winter, about the (lack of) truth in advertising regarding extra virgin olive oil. As in the old joke, “Yes, virgin. Virgin ten times…” I surfed around and found an oil that seems to be accepted as the Real Thing, and although it costs a bit more, it is still not as pricey as some of the more dubious ones.
While I love the taste of quality extra virgin in any Mediterranean-based salad dressing (hey, I like olives on my pizza!), it is understandable that some would like to mute that flavor down a bit. In addition, the stuff used alone tends to congeal up after three or four days in the fridge, which is decidedly rather unpleasant and beyond irritating.
Costco, at least mine, now sells avocado oil, which is both healthy, and seriously less pricey than at any other venue I’ve seen it at. Avocado oil is a neutral-tasting oil, and has a high temperature cooking/flash point (which isn’t important if you are going to use it for salads), but finding it at Costco (serendipitously, as I was on the hunt for hearts of palm in that section of their store), I’m seriously sussed. I’m recommending a 1:1 mixture of the two oils to each other at the moment, but certainly feel free to experiment on the ratio in either direction.
This originally was made to top a salad I brought to a recent potluck late April, and I’ve been fine tuning it ever since.