It's not going to win any beauty contests, but sauce gribiche is one of my favorite culinary ways to dress up plain vegetables or fish (or chicken!). It's simply a mix of minced up super-flavorful ingredients combined into a beyond-savory combination that's particularly good with asparagus (as pictured), artichokes, peas, beans, and greens. Or pretty much any other vegetable. Or chicken. Or fish.
As versatile as sauce gribiche is, it's also a snap to make: just hard-boiled eggs; chop up some pickles, capers, and herbs; and mash it all together into a creamy (but creamless) paste-as-sauce. Slather on to taste.
- Put the eggs in a small saucepan and cover them by at least an inch with cool water. Bring the water with the eggs in it to a full boil, cover the pot, and take the whole thing, cover included, off the heat. Let the eggs sit, still covered, for 7 minutes. Set a timer.
- While the eggs cook and sit, chop the cornichons, the parsley, and the chives. Peel and mince the garlic. They will end up in the food processor or blender, but you really don't want any big chunks of these floating through the sauce, so it's best to chop them up first.
- Remove the eggs from the pot, rinse them in cold water until cool enough to handle, and peel them (I find doing this under running cold water is easiest). Be gentle when you peel them, the yolks will be only barely, not-quite set. (Don't worry if you let the eggs sit a bit longer; a more-set yolk won't ruin the sauce at all and, in fact, for people who want to avoid any semblance of raw egg, it works great with fully hard-cooked eggs that sit in the hot water for a full 14 minutes.)
- Put the eggs in a food processor or blender with the cornichons, parsley, chives, garlic, capers, and mustard. Pulse to chop everything up and make a rough paste. Add the lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper. Pulse to combine. You want a somewhat not totally smooth paste when all is said and done.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning; add more salt and/or pepper to taste, if you like. Serve immediately or store, covered and chilled, for up to two days. The sauce will taste its best at room temperature.