Salad greens, my vinaigrette dressing and video

August 1, is when many gardeners begin thinking about their second crop, or in my case have planted vegetables to harvest in September to October.  Arugula, lettuce, and Swiss chard come to mind, and are vegetables I have planted in my garden the first week of August.

I yearn for a repeat of the spring salad greens, and it is still time to enjoy garden salads for at least the next 7-8 weeks here in the Mid Atlantic region.  So, my thoughts are this might be a good time to share my vinaigrette dressing recipe in anticipation of garden-salad greens.

Late summer second planting

Arugula, New Zealand spinach, lettuce, rape (flat kale) and bush beans, edamame (upper left), squash (top center).

It is rather odd to speak of salad dressing as a recipe because it varies each time I make it. Still, there is a basic concept.  The companion video (double click on “video” to view it on YouTube) linked to this blog of me making this salad dressing  is only a guide.  Allow your own taste to dictate how much of any one ingredient to use while following this guide.

Vary the ingredients and let me know what works best for you.  If you start with the best ingredients, then it is hard to drift far from making a delightful salad dressing.  I prefer extra virgin olive oil, choice red wine vinegar, and fresh garlic.  I am lucky to have nearby Trinacria Macaroni Works–a deli, Italian foods, wine, beer, and spirits, where I buy ingredients not only for my salad dressing, but for many dishes I will share with you on this blog.

I recall the words of Chris Vitiello who writes about poets living in North Carolina area who write about cooking.  “Recipes are much like magic spells,” Chris writes, “if you think about it: They consist of words that conjure things up.”  Here’s hoping that this guide conjures up your own magical salad dressing.

Salad greens and my vinaigrette dressing

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Salad greens and my vinaigrette dressing

Tips: (the vinegar (lemon) to oil ratio is 1 to 3 respectively)

Grey Poupon is my choice for Dijon mustard because of the white wine that is added to the mix. It gives just the right amount of sweetness to the vinaigrette.

This is my recipe and the yield varies according to what taste best for you in terms of vinegar to oil. Try this recipe first and then you can improvise, but tell how you have modified it.


  • 1/3 cups champagne vinegar (or Lemon Juice; a combination of the two is great).
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2/3 cups Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasonings (heaping)
  • 1/2 bulb 6-8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Using garlic presser, press the garlic and add the champagne vinegar (or lemon juice or a combination of the two) and mix until it is a paste.
  2. Add the Italian seasonings and pepper continue to blend.
  3. Add the mustard
  4. Add the champagne vinegar
  5. Place all ingredients with oil in large jar with lid -- I normally use an almost empty Dijon Mustard jar so that I can get the very last drop of unused mustard.
  6. Add olive oil gradually, use wire whisk to combine, or add all ingredients to jar and shake. Adjust the ratio of oil to vinegar to your taste.

About Harold McCray

Artist in the kitchen enjoying my three passions: cooking, photography, and writing.
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14 Responses to Salad greens, my vinaigrette dressing and video

  1. Charity Harris says:

    I can’t believe “the salad dressing” is now public! Your blog entries are interesting – keep up the good work.

    • Yes, Charity, I have gone “public” with my salad dressing. You have watched me make this salad dressing earlier. So, your response is critical and extremely helpful in making this “guide” useful and easy for others.

  2. River Mud says:

    Your city farm must be awesome! I am in a city farm just a few miles east, and the primary “second crops” are 1) abandon your garden and let the rats eat all the ripe vegetables, and 2) till your garden under so the fall, winter, and spring rains can wash away all your soil. Today, I had to chase the rats out of my garden, where I had sown a cover crop of oats and peas on friday. Looks like the rats are after the oat seed. And the thousand pounds of rotting squash in the next garden. Sigh.

    My best man’s mom (she’s Ukranian, and a farmer) taught me a very similar dressing a long time ago. Lemon juice is the key, I think!

    • Thank you for your comments and I apologize for the delay in responding. I had a chance to take a short vacation just before hurricane Irene.
      Yes, I agree with you that Lemon juice is the key. Have you tried using champagne vinegar? I like its taste too.
      Today, I’m publishing my September blog. I have experienced a problem with squirrels eating my tomatoes, but I used a formula in “Bug Off” (mentioned on my site) that really helped. You should consider investing in a copy to avoid the critters next year.

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    • Thank you for your comments and I apologize for the delay in responding. I had a chance to take a short vacation just before hurricane Irene. I will visit the recommended site. Thank you for sharing this information with me.

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