Sauce gribiche is a cold egg sauce that originated in 19th-century France when the so-called “mother sauces” (or grandes sauces) were being defined by chefs Marie Antoine Carême and August Escoffier. It is a derivative of mayonnaise, but unlike that classic emulsion, which uses raw egg, gribiche is characterized by the use of boiled eggs. The sauce, which is often compared to a remoulade, harnesses the briny flavor of capers and cornichons, and bright herbaceous notes from any combination of parsley, chervil and tarragon.
While it sounds a bit fussy, gribiche is as easy to make as it is versatile. Throughout Passover, when my dining choices are more limited than usual, sauce gribiche becomes a staple. After the seder, I use my leftover parsley and a couple of eggs to whip up a batch that will hang out in the fridge, its flavor improving over the next few days. The sauce brings a silky-chunky texture to whatever it touches, from the traditional veal to the more modern blanched spring vegetables like asparagus and new potatoes. I like to add it to hard-boiled eggs for an egg-on-egg breakfast, drape it over poached salmon for lunch, and occasionally pile a bit on a piece of matzah and eat it just like that.
There are many variations of gribiche. Some prefer a soft-boiled egg, which results in a looser sauce, while others, myself included, gravitate toward a slightly firmer yolk, which renders a richer gribiche. Some insist on a medley of herbs, and others choose only one. Either way, the simple sauce comes together in about five minutes once your eggs are ready. And while, traditionally, sauce gribiche is made with Dijon mustard, which contains kitniyot, readers who want to avoid mustard seeds can use kosher for Passover mustard. Once you’ve got the basics down, gribiche is a bit of a playground — add your favorite briny thing (Castelvetrano olives! Piparra peppers! Anchovies!) or swap out the Champagne vinegar for any vinegar of choice. It’s hard to go wrong.
Storage note: Refrigerate sauce gribiche in an airtight container for up to four days.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (4 stems worth)
- 1 Tbsp chopped capers
- 1 Tbsp chopped cornichons (about 3)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard (or kosher for Passover mustard of choice)
- 2 tsp Champagne vinegar, or vinegar of choice
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
- In a medium saucepan, add two eggs and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as the water starts to boil, turn off the heat and set a timer for 7 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare a bowl with ice water. When the timer goes off, use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to the bowl of ice water. Allow eggs to cool for 3 minutes and then peel.
- While the eggs are cooking, pick the leaves from 4 stems of parsley, and chop until you have 1 Tbsp. Chop 1 Tbsp capers and 1 Tbsp cornichons (about 3). Set aside.
- Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Finely chop the egg whites and set aside. Press the yolks through a fine mesh sieve into a mixing bowl. Add 1 tsp Dijon mustard and 2 tsp Champagne vinegar, and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil while whisking. The sauce will become thick and lighter in color as the oil emulsifies into the egg mixture.
- Fold in the chopped parsley, capers, cornichons and egg whites. Season with salt and pepper.