A Particular Sauce Called Ramolade

Makes about 11/2 cups. Recipe is from “Dining With the Washingtons: Historic Recipes, Entertaining, and Hospitality From Mount Vernon,” edited by Stephen A. McLeod, recipes by Nancy Carter Crump (The University of North Carolina Press, 2011). “The following recipe for ramolade — or rémoulade, as we know it today — is adapted from ‘The Lady’s Companion,’ a mid-18th century cookbook published in London,” the recipe’s introduction says. “Martha Washington’s younger sister Anna Maria (Nancy) Dandridge Bassett had a copy of it at Mount Vernon. This sauce, featured with other fish sauces in ‘The Lady’s Companion,’ is thinner and darker than today’s bottled rémoulades, which are thickened with mayonnaise.”

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

3/4 cup plus 2 tbls. olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt

1?8 tsp. ground black pepper

1?8 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

2 to 3 green onions, trimmed and chopped

4 tsps. capers, drained and chopped

1 to 2 tsps. anchovy paste, optional

1. Combine the vinegar with 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Gradually add the remaining oil, whishing until the sauce is emulsified and creamy.

2. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg, combining well.

3. Stir in the parsley, onions, capers and anchovy paste, if desired.

4. Serve the rémoulade chilled or at room temperature. The sauce can be stored in an airtight container (preferably a glass jar) for up to a week.