Sauce Gribiche


The first time I ever heard about Sauce Gribiche was when Molly Wizenberg wrote about it on her blog Orangette back in 2009.  It has been one of those things that has been on my ever- growing list of things to cook.  It’s a long list, a kind of wild, overgrown and uncontrollable unmaintained patch of land kind of list.  A monster, that seems to be growing far more quickly than it can be subdued.  But thanks to an uninspired menu for dinner last night, pork chops and boiled new potatoes it was just the thing to steer me back toward this recipe.   You see Sauce Gribiche, which is usually a vinaigrette bound with chopped hard-cooked egg, shallot, capers and herbs, a little bit like a salsa verde or chimichurri without the egg.  This particular recipe is more of an herby, shalloty mayonnaise which pairs well with vegetables, especially asparagus , grilled fish, poultry, seafood, sandwiches and even the humble boiled potato.

The recipe Molly shares uses olive oil, but I find that flavor is a little over-powering.  I prefer Grapeseed oil or a mix of olive oil and another mild flavor oil such as canola. The trick to this recipe is the 4-minute egg.  The soft yolk binds with the oil to create that mayonnaise consistency.  Also, adding the oil drop by drop is critical.  If you add it too quickly it will just be oily, when added slowly it turns into something quite satiny and has lots of body, like hot fudge sauce.

So, thankfully I can check off Sauce Gribiche on "the list" although I think it will have a place at my table more frequently now.

Sauce Gribiche

Adapted from Molly Wizenberg who adapted it from Zuni Café which was inspired by the mustardy gribiche by the Troisgros brothers.

Makes about  1 ½ cups

2 medium shallots, finely chopped

2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 large egg

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard


1 ¼ cups grapeseed oil

¼ cup loosely packed herbs (parsley, tarragon and chives are a nice combination)

1 to 2 Tablespoons capers, rinsed and dried and coarsely chpped

1 Tablespoon chopped cornichons (about 4 or 5)

Combine the shallots and the vinegar in a small bowl, and let it sit while you do the rest.

Make a 4-minute egg; put an egg in a saucepan of water and bring it to a boil, then simmer for four minutes. Transfer the egg to an ice bath and let it cool.

Peel the egg and place it in a bowl with a generous pinch of salt and your mustard.  Bash it a little with a whisk, so the yolk runs free and the white starts to break into smaller bits.

Whisk everything together briefly and begin to make your aioli; slowly, whisk in the oil drop by drop until the sauce begins to hold its shape. At this point, you can whisk the oil in working in a thin stream.

When it’s at the aioli stage, stir in the capers, cornichons, and herbs.  Add the shallots, and little by little, the vinegar too.  The liquid will thin your sauce, so add the vinegar to your desired consistency.

Season to taste and serve

This sauce can be refrigerated for up to one week.