Sauce ravigote is a green French vinaigrette often paired with boiled meats, seafood, and tête de veau, or calf's head. Slightly acidic, this sauce usually tastes of onion and should always be used with meats that do not have a strong flavor. Considered a classic French sauce, sauce ravigote is served in certain dishes in most French restaurants and can also be easily made at home.
Though the ingredients in sauce ravigote vary, this sauce always gets its green coloring primarily from parsley, which is the only ingredient that does not vary across recipes. There may be other green elements in the sauce, however, depending on the recipe, which provide it its color. For example, some recipes call for the addition of sweet gherkin pickles.
Both vinegar and oil are fairly consistent ingredients in this sauce. Since the sauce is considered a vinaigrette, vinegar is almost always used. The type of vinegar, however, varies. Sherry wine vinegar or champagne vinegar may be used, and some recipes substitute lemon juice for the acidic element that vinegar supplies.
The types of oil used also vary. Sunflower oil, vegetable oil, or safflower oil are all options. Extra virgin olive oil may also be used.
Also common to all sauce ravigote recipes is mustard. Dijon mustard has become the traditional type used in this sauce. This was not always the case, however, so some recipes suggest a different type of mustard, such as Creole.
Eggs and onions are both staple ingredients. Often hard boiled, the eggs may instead be included raw. The onions may be substituted for shallots.
Spices and other additions vary considerably. Capers are a frequent addition but do not appear in all recipes. Tarragon, cayenne pepper, or chives also may be included. Salt and pepper are usually, though not always, added to taste.
There is even a non-vinaigrette version of sauce ravigote which uses mayonnaise and lemon juice instead of oil and vinegar. This version may add Worcestershire sauce and horseradish sauce for extra spice. Some versions even forgo the salt and pepper and suggest adding hot sauce instead.
To make sauce ravigote, ingredients are whisked or blended together using a food processor or blender. Sometimes only the vinegar and mustard are blended before the addition of the other ingredients, and sometimes everything but the oil is added together at once. The oil is always blended in gradually after all the other ingredients have been included.