Using this basic formula, you can make many other tasty dressings.
Mix up the oil
For salads with toasted nuts and cheese, use walnut or hazelnut oil. Nut oils quickly turn rancid at room temperature, so store them in your refrigerator once you've opened them.
Use another acid
Balsamic vinegar is good for winter salads, like those with nuts, hearty cheeses, and root vegetables. Spring salads of tender greens or asparagus can be dressed with a milder vinaigrette that uses champagne vinegar, and a vinaigrette of sherry vinegar pairs beautifully with woodsy sautéed mushrooms. Citrus juice can be substituted for the vinegar too. If using a sweeter citrus fruit, such as oranges, add a bit of lemon juice to give the dressing a tart edge (taste it to make sure there's enough of a tang). Straight lemon juice is milder than vinegar and is often used in a 1-to-1 ratio with the oil.
This means fresh herbs of any kind, or even a tsp. or 2 of tapenade, pesto, minced anchovy, or fruit jelly (like raspberry or currant). A pinch of white or brown sugar can round out the flavor too.
Double or triple the master recipe ― vinaigrette will keep, refrigerated, for up to 1 week. The oil will congeal, so let the dressing come to room temperature and shake well before using.