Roots Remoulade

Though the Larousse Gastronomique is considered by many the final court of authority on Gallic cuisine, that monumental work is not without an occasional chink in its venerable armor. One small perforation involves its recipe for a remoulade, which calls for a cup of mayonnaise with two tablespoons mixed herbs (parsley, chives, chervil and tarragon), one tablespoon drained capers, two finely diced cornichons and a few drops of anchovy essence (optional). No doubt this mixture is savory, subtle and delicious, but let us note that the Librairie Larousse was a Parisian publishing house specializing in encyclopedias and dictionaries, and as such I find it odd (I can’t quite call it inaccurate) that this recipe ignores the origins of the word “rémoulade” itself, which is derived from the dialectal French, rémola, with origins in the Latin word for horseradish, armoracea.

Given this (impeccable) classical precedent, I find it altogether appropriate that any recipe for a remoulade, be it white, red or green (yes, children, there is a green remoulade, made by adding spinach) should include horseradish. And yes, anchovies are a nice accent.

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