In cookbook, recipe on October 27, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Why, it’s a book review-slash-recipe post!

Last year the design blogosphere was all aflutter with the republishing of a classic French cookbook, I Know How to Cook. From a sheer aesthetic standpoint, the book is exquisite – clean, modern type; whimsical, colorful illustration; plus great photos.

I bought it for myself after chancing upon it USED at Moe’s in Berkeley. What luck, right? I carried home my prize, smugly.

Flash forward to one full year later, and I had yet to use the thing. It’s just too BIG and PRETTY. I’d rather put it on my coffee table, rather than allowing it to get down and dirty in the kitchen.

Finally, searching for an easy vinaigrette for some green beans, I cracked it open. And found an easy, accessible dressing recipe. It was so simply written, but something in the way that they wrote the recipe made this the best vinaigrette I’ve ever made.

So here goes, with me almost unable to paraphrase this simple, elegant dressing. They suggest using on salads, cold vegetables, beef or even fish.


  • Salt
  • 1 tbl. white wine vinegar (I used white balsamic vinegar)
  • 3 tbl. olive oil
  1. Technique is important here! Pay attention!
  2. Mix the salt in the vinegar, making sure to dissolve. Then add the olive oil and mix everything well. You can shake in an old jar or whisk in a jar.
  3. TASTE! Add more oil or vinegar as needed.


*Bonus round: the vinegar can be replaced by orange or lemon juice.  You can also add mustard, chopped herbs, or garlic. You could also add minced shallot.

  1. This sounds yummy! and easy to make. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Mody, I need more like this. Ranch dressing would be most appreciated.

    One thing Chile lacks, or at least San Pedro lacks, is Salad dressing! This plus the fact that every single night, along with the main dish, I am given salad, has led to some very weird impromptu toppings with olive oil, balsamic, salt, pepper, soy sauce, and whatever else I can find. I’m going to try this one!

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