Sauce gribiche (gree-beesh) is a classic French condiment with Gaelic origins, though little of its history is known.
In this delicious and timeless variation on mayonnaise, the raw egg yolk is replaced by smashing a hard-cooked egg yolk with vinegar, oil and mustard. It seems each French cook has her own take on what else should go into the mix. Some recipes call for chopped pickles and/or capers, and herbs such as parsley, chervil or tarragon. What’s consistent is the robust texture and vinegary tang. Because sauce gribiche is made with cooked, not raw, eggs, it will keep several days in the refrigerator, works nicely on a buffet table and travels well to picnics and potlucks.
Sauce gribiche is terrific on roast chicken and on hard-cooked eggs. It will work wonders on turnips, cauliflower, beets and as a dressing for salads, too. Try it on sandwiches, with fish in place of tartar sauce, and as a dip for French fries. Some recipes call for neutral-tasting grape seed oil, but I prefer the darker color and pushy taste of a good extra-virgin olive oil.
In this recipe, sauce gribiche brings together three ordinary ingredients in a healthy, flavor-packed, one bowl meal. Potatoes provide plenty of starchy satisfaction. The broccoli, now at its peak, is bright and vibrant, and the eggs add protein and a hearty texture. You can swap out the broccoli for cauliflower or Brussels sprouts, whatever looks good or appeals to you.
Our local broccoli is in season, and though it’s available year ’round, right now is when those vibrant, peppery flavors are at their peak. Use the entire plant, including the stems, because they’re so very fresh and tender.
When buying broccoli, look for deep green color and nice, tight flower heads. Don’t overcook broccoli until there’s no fight left in it. It’s ready when it has lost its crunch but still has a bit of toothiness. A sharp knife will easily pierce the stems. To simplify the process, cut and boil the potatoes first, then add the broccoli about a minute or so before they’re cooked so they come out of the pot together (less fuss and cleanup).
Broccoli may be the most underappreciated green, typically cooked too long into a swampy mass or relegated to the crudité platter with a wimpy dip. But when draped in a lush French sauce, broccoli has sophisticated, everyday appeal.
Broccoli and Potatoes With Sauce Gribiche
Note: The dish comes together quickly and will keep up to two days in the refrigerator. Adapted from “Super Natural Every Day,” by Heidi Swanson.
• 1 1/2 lb. fingerling potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 2-in. chunks
• Generous pinch salt
• 1 lb. broccoli, florets separated and stems cut into 2-in. pieces
• 4 eggs, hard-cooked and peeled
• 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 tbsp. vinegar (any variety)
• 1 tbsp. coarse mustard
• 2 shallots, finely chopped
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Put the potatoes with the salt into a large pot with enough water to cover by about 4 inches. Set over high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are not quite fork tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the broccoli and continue cooking an additional 1 to 2 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender and the broccoli is bright green. Drain and refresh under cold water. Place in large bowl.
Remove the egg yolk from 1 hard-cooked egg, set the white aside, and put the single yolk into a separate, medium bowl. Mash it with a whisk then very slowly add the oil in a steady stream, beating constantly. When the mixture looks smooth, whisk in the vinegar, mustard and shallots. Coarsely chop the egg white and the remaining whole cooked eggs and add to the bowl with the broccoli and potatoes.
Gently toss in enough of the dressing to lightly coat the potatoes, broccoli and eggs, reserving any leftover dressing for another use. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or cold.
Nutrition information per serving (using half the sauce for all):
Calories 320 Fat 14 g Sodium 620 mg Sat. fat 3 g
Carbohydrates 40 g Tot. sugars 4 g
Protein 11 g Chol 160 mg Dietary fiber 8 g
Exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, 1 starch, 1 carb, 1 medium-fat protein, 1 ½ fat.
Beth Dooley is the author of “In Winter’s Kitchen.” Find her at bethdooleyskitchen.com.