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Vinaigrette is a mixture of vinegar (or sometimes citrus juice) and oil, often flavored with herbs, spices, and other ingredients. There are many ways to prepare Vinaigrette but a basic recipe is to slowly add 3 parts of oil at room temperature to 1 part of vinegar until it emulsifies into a smooth sauce. Salt and pepper are added for taste. 

Herbs are sometimes added to enhance flavor. The addition of a small amount of mustard can help keep the oil and acid in an emulsion. In France, Vinaigrette is often prepared once a week in large quantities.

Commercial preparations are often emulsified with lecithin or similar additives, while fresh preparations can be more weakly emulsified with mustard or left as mixtures that will separate. Vinaigrettes are used as sauces in many cuisines, and as salad dressings. This is the most common use of the word. See also French dressing.

Balsamic vinaigrette is a sauce made by adding olive oil and other seasonings, including chopped onion, into balsamic vinegar. Other popular vinaigrettes in French cuisine include anchovies, lemons, truffles and raspberries as the main ingredients.

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