French tartar sauce combines mayonnaise with lemon juice, chopped capers and fresh herbs. You can add chopped pickles if you wish, but the variety used in France — cornichons, which are pickled in vinegar and are quite tart — may be hard to find elsewhere. So if you prefer to be authentic, hold the pickles. This recipe can be made very quickly if you use store-bought mayo, which I generally do. Serve with baked, broiled or fried fish.
3/4 cup (200 g) mayonnaise (store-bought or homemade)
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp. capers
2-3 sprigs fresh herbs — tarragon, parsley, chives or a combination
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine the mayo and lemon juice in a small bowl.
Place the capers on a cutting board. Chop through them a few times in different directions. Add to the bowl.
Strip the leaves from your herbs, chop and stir in. Taste. If the sauce isn’t tart enough, add a little more lemon juice. If it’s too tart, add a little more mayo. Add salt and/or pepper as needed.
Stir well and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 4-8.
If you have sauce left over, transfer it to a clean jar and refrigerate. It will keep for about a week.