The Olivia Wilde Salad Dressing is simple and easy to make. You only need three ingredients to whisk up this silky dressing and a minute of your time. Serve it up with a gorgeous salad and enjoy it on a summer's day!
This post is all about the salad dressing, not about the drama. So, let's dive into this Olivia Wilde Salad Dressing recipe and show you how to make this silky easy dressing.
WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- EASY - this salad dressing is super simple to make and only requires three ingredients. It's perfect to top over salads, bbq'd vegetables, or grains.
- FAMOUS - yes, this salad dressing is Olivia Wilde's famous recipe that is said to have been excerpted from Nora Ephron's novel Heartburn.
- ADAPTABLE - this recipe works because it has three base ingredients. You can then add in any other ingredient that you fancy to jazz it up a bit. I've provided some variations to the recipe below!
If you like making your dressings and condiments from scratch, why not check out my recipe for Homemade Kewpie Mayonnaise?
INGREDIENTS FOR OLIVIA WILDE SALAD DRESSING
- Mustard - Olivia suggests using the Grey Poupon French Dijon mustard. It's creamy and has a lovely spice and acidity to it. If you don't have access to this ingredient, feel free to use any Dijon mustard you can get your hands on.
- Red wine vinegar - a good quality red wine vinegar is essential for perfect flavours in this salad dressing.
- Olive oil - Extra virgin olive oil is the best quality olive oil you can use for this recipe. It's deep in flavour and perfect to make a gorgeous salad dress with.
- Mustard - my favourite mustard of all time is whole grain. I adore whole grain Dijon mustard. It's full of flavour, texture, and has a great balance between the spicy mustard and creamy acidity. If you're looking for a completely different substitute, then I'd recommend using horseradish or wasabi. The flavour will be very different, but still similar.
- Red wine vinegar - if you're not a fan of red wine vinegar, or just don't have it in your pantry, my recommended substitute would be balsamic vinegar. It's much darker in colour and stronger in flavour, but will give you a glorious dressing nevertheless.
- Olive oil - despite olive oil really being a completely necessary ingredient for this recipe, you could also use other types of oil. Vegetable oil, sunflower oil, or avocado oil would work well for this recipe.
The wonderful thing about Olivia Wilde's Salad Dressing is that you can add whatever you like to it, to enhance the flavours. Here are a few of my favourite things I do to "soup up" her dressing:
- Sugar - I don't know about anyone else, but sugar is my absolute secret weapon when it comes to salad dressings. I always add a little teaspoon of sugar into any salad dressing and it just takes it to a whole new level. It doesn't make the dressing taste sweet, it just balances out against the tartness of the vinegar and mustard.
- Salt - now, generally, salt is an absolute must in any salad dressing recipe, which is why I was quite surprised that it wasn't already in this recipe. So, if I were you, I'd add a bit of this into the dressing to bring out the flavours.
- Pepper - because you've got the mustard, this isn't as essential as say, the salt and sugar written above, but I would recommend adding a tad ground black pepper, just to season the dressing sufficiently.
- Garlic - I adore garlic in salad dressings. You can either use fresh garlic and mince it really finely, or use garlic powder.
- Oregano - I always love to add some herbs into my salad dressing. So, depending on what you're dressing (i.e. a salad or bbq'd veg), you might want to adapt your herb of choice. For a classic lettuce leaf salad with tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion, I'd use dried or fresh finely chopped oregano.
- Mayonnaise - this might be a weird one for many, but I love to add mayonnaise into my salad dressings, especially to this Olivia Wilde Salad Dressing recipe. It add creaminess, a bit of sweetness, and a roundness that brings everything together.
- Anchovies - we are being influenced by Caesar for this one. Finely chopped anchovies are perfect for a salad dressing as they act as a natural seasoner. You can't taste the fish, you just taste a wonderful umami filled saltiness that elevates the dressing.
- Honey - obviously I've put sugar above, but for a more wholesome sweetness, I'd use honey. It also blends into the dressing a lot better and has a deeper flavour than sugar.
- Lemon - just a simple squeeze of lemon will bring a lovely acidity to the dressing. I always use fresh lemon, but if you only have bottled lemon juice, then you can use a squirt of that!
MY VERSION OF OLIVIA WILDE'S SALAD DRESSING
Okay, so now that I've given you the actual recipe, plus some variations, here is how I would remake this salad dressing.
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon wholegrain Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 6 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon oregano, finely chopped or dried
- Pinch of sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
I'm not saying that this recipe is better, at all! I'm just saying if you want to jazz it up a bit, then this is what I'd recommend! Enjoy!
HOW TO MAKE OLIVIA WILDE SALAD DRESSING: STEP BY STEP
STEP 1: combine your three salad dressing ingredients in a bowl.
- Place two tablespoons of Dijon mustard into a small bowl.
- Next, add in 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar.
- Lastly, add in your 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
- Give everything a good mix with a whisk or fork until it's emulsified and looks creamy and silky like in the photo above.
STEP 2 - make your salad.
- In a large bowl, combine chopped lettuce, baby tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, and finely chopped cucumber.
STEP 3 - dress the salad and enjoy!
- Pour your Olivia Wilde Salad Dressing over your mixed salad. Toss the salad so that every leaf and slice of cucumber is coated in the silky dressing. Then serve up and enjoy!
WHAT TO SERVE WITH OLIVIA WILDE'S DRESSED SALAD
- Honey Harissa Chicken Pasta with Chickpeas.
- Pollo Piccante Pasta.
- Creamy Prawn and Chorizo Linguine.
- 'Nduja Risotto with Chorizo and Cherry Tomatoes.
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Olivia Wilde Salad Dressing
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons Red wine vinegar
- 6 tablespoons Olive oil
- In a small bowl, add in your mustard, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. Whisk until emulsified, creamy, and silky. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, make your salad of choice. I've used a combination of chopped lettuce, cucumber, tomato, and red onion. Add that all to a bowl and then drizzle over your salad dressing. Toss until everything is well combined then serve up and enjoy!