Make Ahead

My Sister's Famous (well we love it) Tartar Sauce

October  4, 2022
3 Ratings
  • Makes 2 1/2 cups
Author Notes

Over the past several years my sister has made herself the queen of sauces. Her salsas, be they red or green, are incomparable. But in my mind, it is her simply heavenly tartar sauce that has earned her that crown.

Her original formula calls for fine diced yellow onions. For those fortunate enough to find themselves among spring ramps, please substitute them in equal quantity for the onions. Trim and slice them on a pretty, thin diagonal, and be sure to include some of the beautiful, tender green. As for the dill, snip some of the first tender fronds, and also chop up some of those lovely, soft stems. —boulangere

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup first sprout dill fronds and stems, fine dice
  • 1/2 yellow onion, fine dice; don't use red onion because it will turn the sauce pink and people will find that, and you, strange
  • OR
  • 1/2 cup spring ramps, sliced 1/4" thick on the diagonal, some of the tender greens included
  • Zest of 1 lemon, microplaned
  • Juice of one lemon, strained
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Into a stainless steel or glass or pottery mixing bowl, measure mayonnaise, minced dill fronds and tender early stems, and onion or ramps. Use a fine microplane to zest the lemon right into the bowl. Place a fine mesh strainer over a measuring cup or small bowl and ream the lemon to strain out seeds and pulp. Press the pulp with the back of a spoon to extract more juice. Pour into the rest of the sauce.
  2. Whisk all ingredients together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Serve with your favorite grilled fish, fish sandwiches, or fish/crab/shrimp cakes in or out of a sandwich. Also great on fish tacos, and please don't tell me that's heresy.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Midge
  • VanessaS
  • ChefJune
  • inpatskitchen
  • wssmom

16 Reviews

Midge May 30, 2011
I made this the other night using pickled ramps and chopped shallot and we slathered it on soft shell crab sandwiches. Insanely good!
boulangere June 3, 2011
Pickled ramps! And shallots, love it! Insanely envy you those soft-shell crabs.
VanessaS May 11, 2011
Yum, love the idea of having this with grilled ham and cheese!
boulangere May 11, 2011
Oh try it! One of my favorite Saturday afternoon lunches.
ChefJune May 11, 2011
a departure from the classic, but sounds awfully good. However, how is this a "spring vegetable" dish?

boulangere May 11, 2011
Work in progress - have till midnight.
inpatskitchen May 11, 2011
Love this!!
boulangere May 11, 2011
Seriously good with grilled ham & cheese.
Midge May 11, 2011
So glad you posted this! Sounds great.
boulangere May 11, 2011
It was fantastic with your crab cakes.
wssmom May 10, 2011
This arrived just in time to accompany the crabcakes this evening! Thanks!
boulangere May 10, 2011
lorigoldsby May 10, 2011
Love the note about the red onions....we always remember those colorful "mistakes"
boulangere May 10, 2011
Haha! Learned the hard way!
hardlikearmour May 10, 2011
Yum! I hope you can get her to share her salsa recipes, too.
boulangere May 10, 2011
Hereby requested!