Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette

This is my go-to salad dressing because it's all the flavors you need to make lettuce tasty: sweet, salty, bitter, and sour. It's also three steps and easy to modify. Try using whole-grain mustard, brown sugar, or anchovies — look at that, three new dressings! Yields about ¾ cup of dressing.


  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar


  1. Finely mince the shallot and garlic (garlic can also be pressed). Drain the capers, rinsing if packed in salt, and roughly chop.
  2. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, salt, pepper, sugar, and minced aromatics.
  3. Taste for seasoning on a leaf of lettuce; remember you want it a bit saltier than you might think.