Milk Street: Fried Capers Update the Classic French Sauce for Asparagus | Lifestyle

Think of the classic French gribiche sauce as a dolled-up egg salad. But instead of adding mayonnaise to the hard-boiled eggs, the eggs are pounded with bold ingredients like capers, mustard, and herbs to a creamy consistency.

Instead of a sandwich filling, it’s often used as a delicious topping for grilled vegetables, chicken, or fish, and countless chefs have put their own stamp on it.

For the version in our “Milk Street Tuesday Nights” book, which limits recipes to 45 minutes or less, we left the capers out of the sauce and instead used the caper brine for an extra kick of flavor. Capers are fried to create a crispy garnish for sautéed asparagus.

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White balsamic vinegar instead of conventional wine vinegar adds a mild sweetness that balances out the other tangy ingredients. Finally, a dose of horseradish gives the sauce a welcome spiciness.

The sauce pairs wonderfully with green asparagus, which we charred briefly in a hot skillet, then steamed in a couple tablespoons of water until crisp-tender.

When shopping for asparagus, choose bunches with tips that are similar in size; we prefer pencil-sized spears. And don’t be shy about drying the capers. Lay them on paper towels, then press them down with additional towels. Removing moisture minimizes splattering as they fry.

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