Last week I was searching for a sauce to use with row vegetables – something tasty (not necessarily diet friendly) and easy to prepare. Most important though, summer-safe – meaning without row eggs or other hazard ingredients. I still have Julia Child’s book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” on my desktop, and that was it – she had the answer – sauce tartare!
The sauce belongs to the mayonnaise family, or in other words, it actually is a mayo made with hard-boiled eggs. Using both, yolks and egg whites, makes it lighter than the mayo, and it will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It’s perfect with row vegetables and can be used exactly like the mayo – in salad dressings and as a base for more elaborated sauces, or just to spoon it over boiled new potatoes.
The recipe will work better if you use freshly boiled eggs, before they cool completely. But even if you use some leftover hard-boiled eggs, and the sauce refuses to thicken, remember there is always a solution. Just warm a mixing bowl, dry it and beat together one teaspoon of the sauce with one teaspoon mustard until it thickens. Beat in the rest of the sauce by teaspoons, thickening each addition before adding the next one. This will work even if the ready sauce curdles after few hours in the refrigerator.
Makes 400g / 1,5 – 1,8 cups sauce
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
4 hard-boiled eggs
1½ – 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
200 – 230ml olive oil or vegetable oil
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice
3 – 4 tbsp chopped capers or sour pickles
2 – 4 tbsp fresh herbs like tarragon, chives or dill
Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. Pound and mash the egg yolks in a mixing bowl with the salt and mustard or wiz these ingredients in an electric blender. The paste should be smooth and with no lumps in order to absorb the oil.
When your yolks are very smooth, with the mixer on high speed start pouring the oil in a thin stream, like when you prepare the regular mayonnaise. Soon you’ll notice the sauce will start to thicken.
When the sauce is thick, add the lemon juice drop by drop with the mixer still on. This will thin down the sauce, so stop when it has the consistence you want.
You can also add the egg whites in the sauce – we prefer it that way, because it thickens even more and it gets lighter. Anyway – it is not necessary – the sauce will be thick as mayonnaise even without the egg whites. If you decide to use them, before adding them to the mix you need to make them into a smooth paste – I found it is not that difficult with a electric chopper, but according to Julia Child, it can be sieved also. Add the egg white paste to the readymade Tartare before the lemon juice, blend on high speed and when the mixture is smooth and stiff, start pouring the lemon drop by drop.
If you use pickles or capers, chop them finely and extract their juices through a cheese cloth. Then beat them gradually to the sauce.