Mixed Greens Blog

Mixed Greens Blog
Living Sustainably in the Pacific Northwest

19
May
2010

Make Some Gribiche, Capiche?

Asparagus with Gribiche

No need to do much fancy cooking with all the tender vegetables available at the farmers market now. I’m pretty content just steaming, roasting or tossing everything into a raw salad but as the season moves on, it’s nice to have a few simple sauces in your bag of tricks, especially as we get into picnic weather. I’ve recently discovered gribiche, a French mayonnaisey sauce that’s compared to tartar sauce because it contains chopped pickles and capers. Some recipes use raw eggs but I found an alternative using hard-boiled eggs in a wonderful cookbook I received as a gift, Earth to Table – Seasonal Recipes from an Organic Farm by Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann. Gribiche is traditionally eaten over cold meat but it’s equally as good on asparagus, new potatoes, tender broccoli florets, just about anything. If you love deviled eggs like I do, you’ll love gribiche.

Asparagus with Gribiche

Earth to Table Gribiche

2 hard-boiled eggs — whites and yolks separated

1 cup extra virgin olive oil  (I used 1/2 cup instead)

1 t white wine vinegar

1 t fresh lemon juice

1 t chopped cornichon pickles

1 t chopped capers

1 t chopped fresh parsley

1 t chopped fresh chervil

1 t chopped fresh tarragon

Salt & pepper to taste

Using a mortar and pestle, mash egg yolks,  then very gradually add the oil. Once thickened, add vinegar, lemon juice, pickles, capers, parsley, chervil, tarragon, salt & pepper. Chop the egg whites and stir into the sauce.

Homemade Mayonnaise on Asparagu

While gribiche is great there’s always mayonnaise — in a class of it’s own, a major food group in our house. I’ll admit I eat way too much of it, especially once tomato season begins. I had to draw the line once I started buying those extra-large jars at the grocery store (now I’ll buy 2 of the smaller jars at a time — somehow that makes me feel better). It’s not that I think it’s bad for me, I don’t. It’s just that I’ve eliminated so many other processed foods but can’t seem to let go of the Best Foods mayonnaise. I’ve made my own mayo several times and it’s just not that difficult but truthfully, I haven’t liked the taste as well. I thought my problem was using olive oil with a strong flavor so I tried grapeseed oil which was a bad, very bad idea. I ended up with the best results using canola oil. Now, if I can just get used to the color not being creamy white, I may be on to something wonderful.

Asparagus with Homemade Mayonnaise

Homemade Mayonnaise

2 very fresh egg yolks (since these are eaten raw, wash the egg shells before breaking)

1 t white wine vinegar

1/2 t dijon mustard

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 cup canola oil

Salt & pepper to taste

Let all ingredients become room temperature.

In a deep bowl, place the yolks, vinegar, mustard and lemon juice and mix with an immersion blender. Slowly drizzle in the oil, blending until it thickens. To give it a slightly creamier color, you can mix in a little room temperature water. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

I don’t have to tell you all the many uses for mayo, it’s endless.  If you can’t convert to the homemade version completely, at least give it a try and let me know if you have any improvements to my recipe. I think I’ve almost got it.

Broccoli with Nori Butter

My last sauce, nori butter, is ridiculously simple but really packs a flavor punch. Simply melt any amount of butter, a couple of tablespoons is good, cut or tear pieces of nori seaweed into the butter. Take it off the heat and let it sit for 10 or 15 minutes. Depending on what you’re using it for you can strain the nori out or leave it in. It’s great on asparagus, broccoli, any stir-fry veggies, rice, fish. Nori is the seaweed used in making sushi so think about the flavors you love and recreate a lovely, buttery, unconstructed version for a quick meal.

Asparagus

The next time you’re at the farmers market, pick up some fresh veggies and start getting saucy.


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