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Catalan Vinaigrette

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields about 2 cups.

You can substitute small dill pickles for the cornichons, but the vinaigrette won’t be quite as sharp. Sherry vinegar adds an aromatic sweetness, but wine vinegar works, too. For more body and richness, add some diced black olives.


  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
  • 3 to 4 Tbs. water
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 sweet onion (such as Vidalia), finely minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 Tbs. capers, with juices
  • 2 cornichon pickles, finely chopped (about 2 Tbs.)
  • 1 small ripe red tomato, cored, peeled, seeded, and finely diced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 hard-cooked egg, peeled and finely diced (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size without hard-cooked eggs; per 1 Tbs.
  • Calories (kcal) : 60
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 60
  • Fat (g): 7
  • Saturated Fat (g): 1
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 85
  • Carbohydrates (g): 0
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 0


  • Finely chop the garlic on a cutting board. Sprinkle the salt over it and repeatedly scrape the flat side of the knife over the garlic to mash it to a paste. Scrape the garlic paste into a medium bowl. Add the mustard, vinegar, and water, and whisk until the salt is dissolved. Gradually whisk in the oil in a thin stream: the sauce should thicken slightly.
  • Whisk in the onion, capers, pickles, tomato, parsley, and egg (if using). Taste and correct the seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serve within a few hours of making and whisk well before serving.

This vinaigrette has enough substance to stand up to grilled poultry or beef, but it especially complements seafood. Spoon a generous portion over a grilled halibut or swordfish steak. If you have any left over, toss it with boiled potatoes for a quick potato salad.


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