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This recipe for ramolade—or rémoulade, as we know it today—is adapted from The Lady’s Companion, a mid-eighteenth-century cookbook published in London. Martha Washington’s younger sister, Anna Maria (Nancy) Dandridge Bassett, kept 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. The anonymous author recommended the sauce as “being proper for several sorts of Fish cut into Fillets,” and also suggested that it be “turn’d over” the dressed fish “when they are to be served up cold.” This piquant rémoulade makes a delicious accompaniment to various fish dishes, such as Hannah Glasse’s To Dress Fish.

This recipe is a modern adaptation by culinary historian Nancy Carter Crump for the book Dining with the Washingtons.


  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 to 3 green onions, trimmed and chopped
  • 4 teaspoons capers, drained and chopped
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons anchovy paste (optional)


1. Combine the vinegar with 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Gradually add the remaining oil, whisking 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 1 week.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups