A dip for all seasons (and foods)

This French sauce works with chicken, steak, asparagus and anything else you can think of

A nice piece of sourdough is perfect for an open sandwich of hot smoked salmon and gribiche

A nice piece of sourdough is perfect for an open sandwich of hot smoked salmon and gribiche

 

Gribiche is a chunky mayonnaise-style French sauce that is made with boiled eggs, oil and then plenty of herbs, capers and gherkins. Traditionally it’s served with fish, chicken or calves head. It’s delicious with steamed asparagus or baby leeks. Use it as a dip for perfect little vegetables or it’s really good with steak. I love it with hot smoked salmon or use it as an alternative to mayonnaise and make a decadent potato salad. Drizzled over roast potatoes with some roast chicken on the side, makes a delicious and fun Sunday lunch.

Make sure you use a light tasting oil for this sauce. A grassy rich extra virgin olive oil would be far too strong and dominate the entire dish. You need to leave the clean fresh herbs shine so use a light oil like avocado or a very mild olive oil. Take your time in adding the oil. A few drops at first then start to add it in a slow steady stream., mixing all the time.

If the eggs are too hard-boiled they just become rubbery and the sauce won’t emulsify and mix as easily, so the trick is to boil the eggs for a mere four minutes and you will have no trouble in getting a rich and delicious gribiche. You could just use parsley for this sauce but I like to add lots of herbs.

A few weeks ago, my sister and I visited RiotRye Bakery and Bread School in Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary. We had booked the sourdough bread course way back in February so were delighted to finally be taught the secret to great sourdough bread baking by Joe Fitzmaurice. I can’t recommend taking a bread making course there enough, it’s a real life skill. The Firehouse Bakery runs day-long bread-making classes too. I love sourdough bread, for its flavour, health benefits and texture. It’s amazing now to be able to make my own at home, as a result we’re eating more bread than ever before. Not a scrap of it goes to waste either as I know how much care and thought has gone into baking it. My kids love the crusty chewy nature of the dough and have even gotten used to using the sourdough pizza dough instead of the usual yeast we make each Friday. A nice piece of sourdough is perfect for an open sandwich of hot smoked salmon and gribiche. It’s a gorgeous lunch to enjoy before we enter soup season once more.

Gribiche
Makes 1 bowl

1 large egg
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Sea salt
300ml mild-tasting olive oil
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. finely snipped chives (use a scissors)
2 tsp. finely chopped parsley
2 tsp. finely chopped tarragon
2 tsp. finely chopped dill
1 tbsp. capers, rinsed and dried, coarsely chopped 
6 little cornichons, rinsed and dried, coarsely chopped

Place the egg in a pan of water. Bring to the boil then simmer for four minutes. Drain and place the egg in a bowl of cold water to cool.

Once the egg has cooled peel it and place in a medium bowl. Add the mustard and a pinch of sea salt. Mash them together using a fork. Next add a few drops of oil, keep mashing and whisking with the fork. Once the mix has become a little looser, use a whisk. Gradually increase the oil until you’re pouring it in a thin steady stream, whisking all the time. Stir in the herbs, capers and cornichons. Add the vinegar and taste for salt. Pour into a serving bowl and keep cold till ready to serve. 

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