This simple vinaigrette harkens back to a late-seventeenth-century recipe by John Evelyn.

Beginning with a “Sallet-Oyl” that is “smooth, light, and pleasant upon the tongue,” Evelyn went on to recommend the “best Wine Vinegar . . . the brightest Bay grey-Salt,” and all other ingredients of the finest quality, from sugar to mustard and other seasonings, and even notes the type of container in which the salad is to be served.


  • 2 large hardboiled egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 rounded teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Directions

    1. With a fork, mash the egg yolks. Add the salt and mustard, stirring together until completely blended. Stir in the vinegar, mixing well.

    2. Gradually add the olive oil, a small amount at a time, whisking continuously to emulsify the dressing.

    3. Cover and refrigerate the dressing until ready to use. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

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