California-Style Tartar Sauce

  • Serves

    makes About 1 Cup

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


  • 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


Step 1

Finely chop cornichons or gherkins and transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Chop nonpareil capers and add to bowl with cornichons.

Step 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.

Step 3

Adjust seasonings with a little more mayonnaise, lemon juice, or either of the pickling brines, if you like.

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