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Salmon Dinner from the Bathtub | Yankee Classic Article


This classic sauce is always flavored with a puree of herbs. Spinach and watercress are the foundation and coloring agent. The classic flavorings are tarragon and parsley, but dill, chervil, even green coriander leaves can also be used to good effect.

  • 1/4 pound fresh spinach leaves, all coarse stems removed
  • 1 bunch watercress, leaves only
  • 4 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • tiny pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup peanut oil

Chop the spinach, watercress, parsley, and tarragon until the greenery is pureed. Put the mass in the corner of an expendable dishtowel or double layer of cheesecloth, wrap it up and squeeze it to extract all possible juice.

Use the remaining ingredients to make mayonnaise according to the instructions in your all-purpose cookbook. Stir the wrung-out greenery into the mayonnaise. Let it sit at room temperature for five minutes, then taste it and add salt and lemon juice as necessary.

Please notice I have not suggested you can substitute ordinary store mayonnaise. Its sweet flavor is all wrong for this sophisticated sauce.

Green Mayonnaise will keep in the icebox for four or five days and is great not only on poached salmon but on hard-boiled eggs and potato salad and fresh tomatoes and clam fritters, to say nothing of cold roast beef, turkey sandwiches, and, in all probability, your grandfather’s old boot. Only 80,000 calories a tablespoon.


  • 1 large or 2 medium-sized cucumbers
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard of the smooth, slightly sweet, Scandinavian type
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil pinch of ginger
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 2 cups yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup snipped fresh dill salt to taste

Peel the cucumbers. Quarter them the long way and cut out the seeds. Grate the meat on the large holes of a grater and spread the shreds on absorbent paper to dry, Let them sit for about 5 minutes.

Beat the mustard, sugar, oil, and ginger until the mixture is well combined, then slowly beat in the vinegar. Stir in the shredded cucumber and marinate. Refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours but not longer.

At serving time, drain the cucumbers, reserving the marinade. Beat the yogurt or sour cream until it’s smooth, then slowly beat in the marinade to make a sauce just a little thicker than heavy cream.

Fold in the cucumber, dill, and salt to taste and serve at once.

The texture of this sauce does not keep well, but it does continue to taste good even after it looks terrible. When I end up with leftovers, I stir them into potato salad.

Updated Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

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