Tartar sauce is the condiment of choice for the trusty fish stick and the golden-battered calamari, always served at pubs alongside a full basket of chips. But tartar sauce can- and should- be seen as a more versatile condiment, much more simply dished than alongside fried seafood baskets. Why not use it as a dipping sauce for fresh veggies? It would be the perfect pool for a little grilled artichoke heart to dive right into, as an afternoon snack with a handful of carrot sticks. Or as a spread in a sandwich, it would certainly elevate an otherwise average BLT or a seared ahi sandwich to another level.
There are many arguments out in the world about what makes a classic tartar sauce. Some prefer to keep it simple, with a mixture of mayonnaise, capers, and pickles. But those that look at my pantry know that though I like the idea of the classic, I cannot resist from adding a bit of extra flavor boost and to make my recipes stand out from the rest. Here, the otherwise classic tartar sauce gets- to steal the culinary term- “kicked up a notch”, with the addition of some shallots, paprika, and scallions.
If you are making your mayonnaise from scratch, feel free to add the ingredients for tartar sauce directly into the food processor (just make sure to add them after your mayonnaise has already formed, otherwise it might have difficulty emulsifying). Or, if you’ve got mayo already in the fridge (homemade or store bought, I’m not a judge) just chop the ingredients finely and fold until mixed well. Easiest recipe directions ever!
There really are so many uses for tartar sauce. Mixed with hard boiled egg yolks for deviled eggs, folded into leftover chicken for an impromptu chicken salad. I’m not going to lie, I’ve even used homemade tartar sauce as a stand-in for salad dressing.
Homemade Tarter Sauce
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup finely chopped dill pickles, about 10 pickle spears
- 2 tsp non-pareil capers
- 3 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 small shallot, finely minced, about 2 Tbsp
- 2 scallions (greens only) finely minced, about 1 Tbsp
- 1/8 tsp paprika
- In a medium bowl, mix ingredients together.
- Store in an air-tight container in the fridge, will last 2 weeks.