Every now and then you come across something amazing, that you never even realized was a thing. Sauce gribiche is one of those things. One of the most delicious condiments I have ever had, and something I am pretty sure many people have not tried or heard of before. And serving sauce gribiche with asparagus is everything you want in a side dish.
What is sauce gribiche?
Gribiche a French-named sauce that is considered a cold egg sauce. Which, don't get me wrong, sounds kind of gross. And calling it a cold egg sauce simply doesn't do it justice. It’s sort of like a tartar sauce but so elevated, it really isn't like tartar sauce. Probably not the best description, I know.
The first time I ever had sauce gribiche was at Publican Tavern, Paul Kahan's bar at O'Hare airport. I ordered a Norwegian cod sandwich and gribiche was on it. I was about to order without the sauce (it sounded gross), but the waiter was so damn sure it was the best sauce ever, and really who am I to argue with Paul Kahan anyways. If he puts it on the sandwich - it belongs there. Three bites in to the sandwich and I had my laptop out and was looking up what exactly gribiche is and how to make it.
Now there’s tons of ways to make it I found…a lot have mayonnaise as a base. Mayonnaise is not my favorite, not even a little, so I created a sauce gribiche without mayonnaise that is light, fresh, full of herbs and bright with a good amount of vinegar.
Oh, and since it is spring and all, and Easter season, all those hard-boiled eggs you made for coloring? Well gribiche dressing is the perfect way to make good use of them.
Sauce gribiche has a lot of ingredients, but many of them are things you already have on hand and the rest are thing syou can easily pick up.
- Eggs. I mean, this is a French eggs sauce, so...duh. I go with a six-minute boiled egg for this, but you can also go with a firmer, more hard boiled egg is you prefer.
- Cornichons. These are not the sweet little gherkin pickles typically seen in our grocery store. They are so much more interesting and so much better. They are tasty little f’ers and we should be finding and sharing more ways to use them. Here is what you should be looking for.
- White wine vinegar. This is the acidity you want and love in a good sauce. It gives a proper balance. And even if you are reading this and think 'oh I am not a vinegar person,' think again. This sauce gribiche recipe is more like a vinaigrette with egg, and the vinegar brings a proper balance.
- Dijon mustard. I mea, again, French sauce.
- Capers. for a nice salty bite.
- Olive oil. To hold everything together.
- Fresh herbs. I like to use tarragon and parsley, but if you can't find tarrago, use what you like and have available (dill, thyme or basil would be good alternatives).
- Every spring vegetable you ever make. It is the perfect dressing for spring vegetables. Roasted, grilled, sauteed, however you make them, this is a great sauce to use. My favorite will always be sauce gribiche with asparagus.
- Fried fish. I will never serve a fried fish sandwich or fish and chips with tartar sauce again, it now always a gribiche dressing.
- Salmon. Not fried, but lightly roasted or poached salmon goes great as well.
Tips for success
- Chop the capers pretty finely.
- Keep the egg chop not-so-fine. You want some texture to this sauce, it is not a mayonnaise (unless you want it to be a mayonnaise in which case you should blend in a food processor).
- Taste everything before salting. Capers are briny which equals salty,so taste first, then season so you don't overdo it.
I promise you, this is the best thing you’re probably not making. And once you give it a try, you'll be making it all the time.
Spring desserts to help round out your meal
- 6 cornichons chopped
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped drained capers
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- Kosher or sea salt and a lot of freshly ground pepper
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons chopped herbs I use parsley and tarragon
For the six minute boiled egg
- Bring a saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add your egga and boil on high for exactly six minutes. While the eggs are boiling grab a bowl and fill with ice an dcold water. When the six minutes are up, take the eggs out of the boiling water and place them in the bowl of ice water. This stops them from cooking further. After a few minutes remove from ice water and peel and coarsely chop.
To make the sauce gribiche
- Combine cornichons, oil, vinegar, capers, and mustard in a small bowl to and whisk together. Gently mix eggs and parsley into dressing with a spoon – not the whisk. Taste and add salt to taste and a good amount of black pepper.