Skip To Content

Olivia Wilde’s ‘special salad dressing’ came from Nora Ephron’s novel about adultery

The director shared a screenshot of ‘Heartburn’ with the recipe

The drama surrounding Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis’ final days as a couple has recently taken a culinary twist in the form of a much-discussed “special salad dressing.” If you, like many, are clamoring to have what Wilde was having, it’s only right — Nora Ephron appears to have developed the recipe.

This dressing must be really special, as it’s alleged that Sudeikis lay under Wilde’s car to prevent it from being whisked away to Wilde’s beau Harry Styles. While Sudeikis and Wilde have denied this, Wilde did appear to share the vinaigrette recipe on her Instagram story Tuesday in the form of a page from Ephron’s autobiographical novel “Heartburn.”

Here it is:

“Mix 2 tablespoons Grey Poupon mustard with 2 tablespoons good red wine vinegar. Then whisking constantly with a fork, slowly add 6 tablespoons olive oil, until the vinaigrette is thick and creamy; this makes a very strong vinaigrette that’s perfect for salad greens like arugula and watercress and endive.”

(Whether you can, like Sally Albright in Ephron’s “When Harry Met Sally,” order the dressing on the side, is not specified.)

Now this is all well and good as a recipe, but we shouldn’t overlook the premise of the book; it chronicles the collapse of the marriage of food writer Rachel and her husband Mark. In the book, and film by Mike Nichols, Rachel (based on Ephron) teaches Mark (based on investigative reporter Carl Bernstein) how to prepare the dressing and the two have a nice evening together, retiring to bed.

At this point in the book, Mark has cheated on Rachel with a wealthy socialite — based on the decidedly British Margaret Jay (now Baroness Jay of Paddington). This echoes Sudeikis and Wilde’s nanny’s claim that, even as Wilde was leaving him, the two were sleeping together naked, which, honestly, I don’t understand the big deal about.

Now is it a coincidence that Wilde, alleged to have cheated on Sudeikis with British pop star Harry Styles, found her recipe in this particular book? Is she the Mark in this scenario or is she perhaps hinting that Sudeikis, who spends a great deal of time among Brits for his show “Ted Lasso,” might not be blameless? The speculation will no doubt continue to drizzle out via magazines at the grocery store checkout.

Wilde, whose parents are journalists (one British, one American, incidentally) and who has directed “Booksmart” and “Don’t Worry Darling,” would no doubt find Ephron’s book appealing without any incidental parallels to her own romantic life. But who in this tabloid blitz hasn’t been above a bit of subliminal messaging?

Maybe I’m overthinking it. Maybe Wilde is just saying when this splashy story gets the film treatment, a la “Heartburn,” she’d like Meryl Streep to play her.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.