Vinaigrette is a cold sauce made from vinegar and oil (more of the latter than the former, but recommended proportions vary) with seasonings, standardly pepper and salt and often garlic and tarragon. It is typically served with green salads. The word, which originated as a diminutive form of French vinaigre, ‘vinegar’, was first used in English as long ago as 1699 (John Evelyn mentioned it in his book on salads, Acetaria) but it did not really become established until the end of the nineteenth century. French dressing, which originated around 1900, is a widely used synonym in British English.
In French, vinaigrette was also applied formerly to a sort of small two-wheeled carriage, from a supposed resemblance to a vinegar-seller's cart.
Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink.