Traditional recipes for tartar sauce use homemade mayonnaise, but high-quality store-bought mayo yields good results, too.

California-Style Tartar Sauce California-Style Tartar Sauce
Tangy, creamy, and delicious, tartar sauce is the ultimate accompaniment for fried fish, fried vegetables, or hush puppies.
Yield: makes About 1 Cup


  • 3 cornichons or gherkins
  • 2-3 tsp. nonpareil capers
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp. pickling brine from jar of cornichons
  • 1 tsp. pickling brine from jar of capers
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, white or black


  1. Finely chop cornichons or gherkins and transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Chop nonpareil capers and add to bowl with cornichons.
  2. Add mayonnaise, lemon juice, and pickling brine from cornichons and capers. Mix with a wooden spoon until well-blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Adjust seasonings with a little more mayonnaise, lemon juice, or either of the pickling brines, if you like.