The traditional vinaigrette (from the French “vinaigre,” meaning vinegar) pairs particularly well with leafy salads. The classic sauce preparation can be achieved with just four basic ingredients, mixed according to the rule of thumb: one part vinegar, three parts oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Importantly, dissolve the salt completely in the vinegar while stirring before whisking in the oil. Continue to stir until the oil and vinegar form an emulsion. For a creamier sauce, add a bit of mustard, and you’ll have French dressing.
Hardly any sauce is as versatile. Adding ginger gives it an Asian touch, while chili and cilantro make it a perfect complement for Mexican salads. Mixing in some blue cheese creates a particularly piquant sauce. Further variations can be achieved with herbs, garlic, shallots, spring onions, and hard-boiled eggs. To bring even more variety to your salad bar, consider using fine types of vinegar such as basil, raspberry, elderflower, sherry, red and white wine vinegar. High-quality cooking oils like cold-pressed rapeseed oil can also add additional, intriguing flavor notes.