The trick is in finding the correct balance of piquancy and creamy blandness. Too much vinegar or lemon in the mayonnaise and the result will be harsh; too few capers or gherkins and the essential piquancy – and therefore the point – will be lost. It is this sharpness that cuts through the greasiness of the fried breadcrumbs or batter and allows us to continue eating. Stint on the gherkins or capers, or miss one out, and you will have a sauce that is too sweet to perform its function. While the exact ratio is a matter of taste, the sauce needs an unmistakable tang.
1 Tbsp Gherkins – finely diced
1 Tbsp Capers rinsed – finely chopped
1 Tbsp Tarragon – finely chopped
2 Tbsp Parsley finely chopped
1 Tbsp Shallots – finely diced
½ Zest of lemon – finely grated
Combine all the ingredients for the tartare sauce, by carefully turning the dry ingredients through the mayonnaise, to maintain a slight crunch on tasting. Adjust the sharpness and seasoning to taste.