French Laundry Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Fresh ingredients lend themselves to this French Laundry Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette and it is amazing!

French Laundry Garden Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

While I include a lot of salads in my meal plans, I seldom think to include recipes for them here. That needs to change and will for this first quarter of the year; we could call it penance for the last quarter of celebrating! Salads are most often the result of opening the fridge and grabbing a bit of this or that and whipping together a simple salad dressing. This French Laundry Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette is different. It was planned and has to be shared.

While I keep a couple of prepared products on hand for a really quick meal; I love a low sugar raspberry vinaigrette that’s good but I most often throw together minimal ingredients for a homemade salad dressing.

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Photo of The French Laundry Courtesy Trip Advisor

Occasionally though I see something I want to make that uses garden veggies and I was taken with this French Laundry Salad and the dressing that accompanied it from the moment my eyes met the page in an issue of Food & Wine Magazine from 2016. I missed it when the issue came out but I’m clearing out stuff I really don’t need and 8 year old magazine issues are on the list. But I am very glad I kept this one around and discovered this salad even late in the game.

The French Laundry restaurant in Napa is renown so having a recipe bestowed in those pages from proprietor Thomas Keller was like a gift. One he didn’t even have to wrap! While they are a coveted reservation for folks hoping to enjoy a meal combining Keller’s expertise and a location in Napa, I don’t need a reservation if I can make this at home…that’s truly where my heart is.

The original salad components sounded wonderful but using them would have required that I source a lot of ingredients I did not have on hand. Considering that it’s winter in Colorado I substituted pretty freely.

I’ve included the list of ingredients that Chef Keller uses for their French Laundry Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette but use your judgement and do the same…not much can go wrong. I used romaine, endive, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, grilled carrots, sugar snap peas, red onion, and both parsley and basil from my indoor herb garden.

I knew when I purchased them that the tomatoes might be ‘iffy’ but I lucked out; often cherry tomatoes are fine to use when the weather outside is frightful. I wouldn’t recommend a regular tomato though…they simply don’t cut it, use something else. If you want color, maybe beets?

French Laundry Garden Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

The fresh ingredients are certainly the beginning but it’s the dressing made for this French Laundry Salad that is so stellar. Recipes are funny sometimes. There really is nothing so special in the list of ingredients for this dressing and yet the end result is almost magical; truly the sign of a great chef and his knowledge.

I’ve made so many salad dressings over the years and yet not one quite like the dressing on this French Laundry Salad.

Dijon mustard, garlic, balsamic vinegar, shallots, olive oil…nothing all that unique. The raw egg yolk certainly makes for a smooth, rich consistency and I urge you to try it. It can be left out but the result will lose some of the richness of flavor that makes it over the top wonderful.

I know raw egg is a concern for some but I simply wash the outside of the shell with warm water and detergent before breaking it. It might not be scientific but I feel more confident after doing it! Raw eggs are also critical with the French Silk Pie; sometimes substitutions leave a lot to be lacking.

If you can, find pasteurized eggs, that’s probably your safest bet if you’re concerned about the raw egg.

Don’t limit this French Laundry Salad to one season; the flavor of the dressing would be great with any number of veggies.

You’ll have a huge assortment to choose from in summer and I’m already thinking some roasted squash would be a great fall addition. Use your imagination and go crazy!

Take a trip to California wine country without leaving your home kitchen when you make this French Laundry Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette; you won’t regret it; I promise.

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The French Laundry Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

French Laundry Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

 A fresh and beautiful salad from Chef Thomas Keller of The French Laundry restaurant. The mustard vinaegrette is divine!
5 average from less than 50 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Salads, Dressings, Marinades and Sauces
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 557 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Dressing

  • 1 large large egg yolk
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tablespoons plus 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 1 small shallot minced
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper

For the Salad

  • 12 radishes
  • 12 ounces radicchio leaves torn into large pieces
  • 8 ounces small tomatoes quartered
  • 1 small red endive leaves separated
  • 5 ounces baby zucchini halved
  • 4 ounces sugar snap peas trimmed and halved if large
  • 3 ounces baby carrots halved lengthwise
  • 1 Persian cucumber thinly sliced
  • 8 thin asparagus spears cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Mixed herbs such as basil and chervil, for garnish

Instructions
 

Make the Vinaigrette

  • In a food processor, combine the first 5 ingredients with 
2 tablespoons of water.
  • With the machine on, drizzle in both oils until incorporated. For a thinner vinaigrette, stir in another 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the Salad

  • In a bowl, toss all of the ingredients except the herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette.
  • Garnish with herbs and serve with more dressing on the side; reserve the remaining dressing for another salad.

Notes

If you prefer, you can eliminate the raw egg or substitute it with a pasteurized egg product.
Since this does have raw egg, the shelf life is short. The vinegar and salt will offer some preservation but this dressing should be used within 5-7 days after making.
 
 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
French Laundry Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
Serving Size
 
1 Serving
Amount per Serving
Calories
557
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
56
g
86
%
Cholesterol
 
31
mg
10
%
Sodium
 
672
mg
29
%
Protein
 
4
g
8
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Calories
557
Keyword chicken salad, dinner, endive, French Laundry, holiday, lunch, mustard, restaurant, vinaigrette
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7 Comments

    1. Honestly it’s all about the dressing…it would elevate a simple lettuce and tomato salad! Hope you enjoy…

    1. I’ve read from 4-7 days. The garlic, vinegar, and salt all help to prolong shelf life but it still should not be kept long because of the egg.

  1. Yikes…but I do get to blame it on the software. I couldn’t believe I had inserted a recipe without listing quantities and I hadn’t but I use software to format that recipe area and it had a glitch it seems. One extra : and the numbers didn’t show!

    I removed it and viola…all is well. THANKS for the heads up; quantities do matter!

  2. Yup, although I sometimes make composed salads, usually I just grab ingredients and mix them together. Quantities are irrelevant. So every salad is different. 🙂 This looks great, and that vinaigrette is wonderful. Thanks!

    1. Except that comment shocked me as I had quantities! New software for the recipe card and it threw in an extra : – all the numbers were input, they just didn’t show. I could have won an award for how fast I ran to my office to get it straight. Actually the salad quantities don’t matter so much, but for the dressing they would. Whew…all fixed! And it is wonderful…I could eat it with a spoon. Shh…don’t tell but I might have once or twice. 🙂

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