This luscious sauce comes from Peter’s family, and is a vegetable-rich take on what is sometimes a creamier affair. It pairs beautifully with fresh shrimp either as a dip, or over a bed of lettuce as a salad. And the color is quite Christmas-ey for a dip.
While the classic chef will probably insist upon a glass bowl, and a thin stream of olive oil into a constantly whisked or food-processed sauce, in a galley one strives for the simple, so I’m going to use my hand chopper for the whole thing. Ingredients are creole mustard, garlic, paprika, cayenne, horseradish, salt, tarragon vinegar, olive oil, scallions, celery hearts and leaves, and parsley.
The first time I made this I went to numerous grocery stores in the DC area looking for tarragon vinegar, then gave up and put some bruised tarragon leaves in a bottle of white vinegar and let them sit on the shelf for a few days. I’ve not gone back to looking…this worked fine for me!
Pulse 2 tablespoons mustard, a large garlic clove, a tablespoon of paprika, a half-teaspoon of cayenne, a half-teaspoon of horseradish, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 cup vinegar, and 1-1/4 cups olive oil until a smooth, glossy sauce. Transfer to a bowl.
Pull the leaves off stems of 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, and chop one bunch of scallions, and 4-5 stalks from the heart of a celery bunch (plus all the celery leaves you can pull off it) into about 2 inch chunks.
Pulse these in the food processor — I put them through roughly as separate ingredients so that the whole bowl of one thing would process more or less evenly — until finely chopped, but still with good texture. On the left, I’ve transferred the processed celery to the bowl with the sauce; in the processor I’m about to chop the scallions (and some rogue parsley that slipped in).
This is the lovely texture you are after when all is combined. Taste it and adjust salt, etc. as desired, then let it chill for at least a few hours so the flavors really come out.
Serve cold as a dip with fresh, shelled and boiled shrimp, or lay shrimp on a bed of crisp, shredded lettuce and top with remoulade as a dressing for a beautiful Christmas salad. This is a nice appetizer choice for a heavy meal as well — the sauce has a richness to it despite being almost entirely vegetables.
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