Cold Asparagus with Sauce Gribiche

by Sarah on July 11, 2011

Sauce Gri-what?

Gribiche.  Gra-beesh.

Sauce gribiche is “a mayonnaise-style cold egg sauce in the French cuisine, made by emulsifying hard-boiled egg yolks and mustard with a neutral oil like canola or grapeseed.  The sauce is finished with chopped pickles, capers, parsley, chervil and tarragon. It also includes hard-boiled egg whites cut in a julienne” (Wikipedia).

It looks a little weird but really, it is wonderful.  Especially for a hot summer evening.  It’s cool, won’t heat up your kitchen and takes minutes to prepare.  It’s also a good way to use up leftover Easter eggs.

Sauce gribiche is also good on cold meats like lamb, veal or turkey and is traditionally served on cold tongue or calves’ head.  I don’t typically have a cold cooked calves’ head around so I just went with the asparagus.

I’d been wanting to make this dish after reading about it in cookbooks, but it was a book that I read this Spring that finally got me cooking.  The book, Food & Friends, Recipes and Memories, was by Simone Beck, Julia Child’s partner in writing Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  The recipe was taken from a menu that Mrs. Beck made as a newlywed for friends in Paris.

Try this pronto.  It’s light and filling and the fact that it has pickles and capers makes it 100 times better.

Take a bite and pretend you’re in Paris with the newly wedded Mr. and Mrs. Beck.

Asperges, Sauce Gribiche-From Food & Friends, Food and Memories from Simca’s Cuisine

Cold Asparagus with Sauce Gribiche


  • 2 lbs asparagus, ends snapped off and cut on the bias into 3" lengths
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, yolks separated from the whites
  • 1 generous Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp gherkin pickles or cornichons, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp capers, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chopped aromatic herbs, such as chives, chervil and parsley
  • salt and pepper


  • So listen. I didn't follow Simca's recipe for making the asparagus. I put the asparagus pieces in a small saute pan with about a 1/2-inch of cold water and a little salt. Bring to a boil and cook just for a couple of minutes until they are tender yet still crisp. When they are done, pour into a colander and rinse with cold water. I put some ice on top for good measure. You want to stop the cooking and keep them bright green. Just leave them there while you make the sauce.
  • For Simca's sauce: Finely chop or sieve the egg whites and chop the herbs, capers and pickles, set aside. Mash the egg yolks with the mustard. Add the oil, drop by drop, whisking constantly, as for a classic mayonnaise. When all the oil is incorporated, slowly mix in the vinegar, and then stir in the rest of the ingredients.
  • Serve on cold asparagus.

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