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Fresh Italian Dressing

Italian is adaptable; try it with sweet lettuces, such as Bibb, and bitter chicories, such as radicchio. Key ingredients include olive oil, vinegar, and herbs.

  • yield: Makes 1 1/3 cups




  • 2 small garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried mustard
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano

Cook's Note

The trick to achieving a good emulsification -- suspending the oil in water-based ingredients such as vinegar -- is to add the oil toward the end and whisk it in a little bit at a time.


  1. Step 1

    Whisk garlic, sugar, mustard, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, the red pepper flakes, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Whisk together oils; add to vinegar mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified. Whisk in herbs; season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 week.

Martha Stewart Living, August 2005



Reviews (2)

  • 14 Feb, 2013

    WAAAAAYYYYYY too oily. Tried Rose's dressing also, and WAAAAAYYYYYY too oily. I think your ratios are wrong. I mean really? 1 Cup oil to barely more than a quarter cup acid? What's for dessert? ExLax brownies?

  • 10 Jan, 2008

    This is an exceptional good dressing especially for mesclun mix. I've tried it using dried herbs, but it's just not the same. Fresh herbs indeed make this dressing my favorite.