Style secrets of the French by Casilda Grigg
Of all the French people I have interviewed in London the most foodie is a woman called Marie who bears a striking resemblance to Carine Roitfeld, the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris. Over coffee in a South Kensington café, Marie tipped me off about sauce gribiche – and how very useful it is for adding va-va-voom to boring white fish. The sauce is just the thing to serve with cold fish or meat, new potatoes and asparagus.
In search of the perfect recipe I turned to chef and cookery writer Tom Norrington-Davies. Here’s what he came up with:
‘The sauce isn’t a million miles from salsa verde and is even closer to tartare sauce, which is why people like pairing it with fish,’ says Tom Norrington-Davies. ‘Gribiche sauce is best used on the day it’s made as the herbs will discolour if kept overnight. That said, you can keep it in the fridge for a day or two.’
For 4 to 6 people:
*1 small bunch flat-leafed parsley
*1 small bunch tarragon (alternatively use basil, mint, dill or another sweet herb)
*50g (which is pretty much one of those small tins) of anchovy fillets in oil
*1 tbs capers
*6 to 8 cornichons (depending on size)
*2 hard-boiled eggs
*1 heaped tbs Dijon mustard
*2 tbs good wine vinegar (white or red is fine)
*olive oil (milder the better)
*salt and pepper
*Pick and chop the herbs. Set them aside.
*Finely dice the shallot.
*Chop the anchovies, capers and cornichons until they resemble a rough paste, then combine with the diced shallot.
*Peel the hard-boiled eggs and separate the whites from the yolks. Chop the yolks until they are creamy and combine them with the shallot mix.
*Chop the whites as finely as possible and set them aside.
To assemble the sauce gribiche
Add the mustard and vinegar to the shallot mix. Next add the herbs and the egg whites, then combine. Loosen the sauce to the desired consistency with the oil. It should just about be able to stand up for itself, if that makes sense. Season to taste and do add more mustard or vinegar if you wish.
Tom’s restaurant in Covent Garden
Tom Norrington-Davies cooks at Great Queen Street, a former pub where specialities include lamb with gratin dauphinois, pork and rabbit terrine and flourless chocolate cake.
Great Queen Street is at 32 Great Queen Street, London WC2, 020 7242 0622. The basement bar is a very useful meeting place – it’s in the heart of Covent Garden but hardly anybody knows about it.