Crevettes & tarragon mayonnaise

mayo 1- The weather has been warm and inviting during our first weeks here in Paris, making it easy to explore the possibilities of daily life: where to buy the best baguette, to find the butcher´s and the nearest supermarket, where to go for a walk or the nicest view over the city. Last sunday, we discovered a tiny, almost hidden market just a few minutes walk from our house. It was the mouthwatering smell of poulet rôti, roasted chicken, that showed us the way. A single lane of market stands only, but there was all one could ask for: bread, cheese, meat, fruit and vegetables, wine, fish, a flower stand even, and everything presented by the market people with a smile on their faces.

Of all the good things, it was the fishmonger´s selection that drew my attention. Our neighborhood is sprinkled with turquoise colored balconies and window shutters, there are cypresses growing and huge palm trees even. On an early summer morning like last sunday with its glistening sunlight there´s simply something Mediterranean in the air…. So I guess it was no wonder I wanted a little seafood delight to match that côte d´azur feeling. It was a classic from the South of France that I had in mind.

The coral colored crevettes smiled at me, I smiled back, and that was the deal. It was the easiest thing to buy them precooked, so all I had to do for my simplified version of Aïoli was to stir together a pot of golden mayonnaise. It is made of egg yolks, garlic, olive oil, and, in my case, lots of tarragon. If you want to enjoy this Provencal dish in its original way of preparation, skip the herb, use more garlic (2 or more cloves, crushed) and cook some white fish filets (like cod) along with potatoes, green beans, carrots and hard boiled eggs. With a glass of Chablis, it´s the perfect meal to welcome summer, not only in this beautiful city, but wherever you are.

mayo 2-Tarragon mayonnaise (serves 4)
1 clove garlic, chopped very finely
about 120 ml good quality olive oil
2 fresh egg yolks
juice of ¼-1/2 lemon
salt and pepper
finely chopped leaflets from 2-3 sprigs tarragon

Mix garlic and egg yolks in a small bowl. Add olive oil very slowly in a steady stream, whisking constantly with a hand whisk until completely incorporated. Add a squeeze of lemon juice halfway, and maybe a bit more towards the end until desired concistence and acidity is achieved. You should obtain a thick, bright yellow sauce. Use a tad more or less oil depending on the size of the egg yolks. Season with salt and pepper, add chopped tarragon and keep cool until serving.

Crevetten & Estragonmayonnaise

mayo 4-
Das milde Wetter in den Wochen seit unserer Ankunft kam gerade recht, die unmittelbare Umgebung zu erkunden: wo gibt es was – die beste Baguette, den nächsten Metzger und Supermarkt, den schönsten Blick auf Paris. Vergangenen Sonntag haben wir auf diese Weise einen winzigen Markt entdeckt, nur wenige Minuten von unserem Zuhause entfernt. Der Geruch von poulet rôti, Brathähnchen, wies uns den Weg. Zwar bestand der Markt nur aus einer einzigen Gasse, doch gab es alles, was das Herz begehrt.

Und ich wollte zum Fischstand. Zypressen und Palmen wachsen hier, und all die türkisen Rolläden und Balkone, die, an hellen Fassaden angebracht, unsere Gegend sprenkeln, lassen einen an einem warmen Sonnentag fast ein wenig Côte d´Azur-Stimmung aufkommen – obwohl man sich mitten in Paris befindet. Deswegen: Meeresfrüchte. Die Krevetten in Koralle sprachen zu mir, ich erhörte sie. Sie waren schon gekocht, deswegen war es ein Leichtes, einfach ein Töpfchen Mayonnaise zusammenzurühren für eine ganz einfache (vereinfachte) Version des südfranzösischen Traditionsrezeptes Aïoli. Wer es näher am Original zubereiten möchte, sollte mehr Knoblauch nehmen als unten angegeben, den Estragon weglassen und gekochte Kartoffeln, Karotten, Bohnen, hartgekochte Eier und weißfleischigen Fisch dazu servieren. Dazu ein Glas Chablis. Kann man den nahenden Sommer passender begrüßen?

Estragonmayonnaise (4 Personen)
1 Knoblauchzehe, sehr klein gehackt/durchgedrückt
ca. 120 ml gutes Olivenöl
2 frische Eigelb
Saft von ¼-1/2 Zitrone
Salz und Pfeffer
Gehackter Estragon (Blättchen von 2-3 Zweigen)

Knoblauch und Eigelbe in einer kleinen Schüssel vermengen. Olivenöl sehr langsam in einem dünnen Strahl zugießen, dabei ständig und kräftig mit dem Schneebesen unterrühren. Etwa nach Zugabe der Hälfte des Öls einen Spritzer Zitronensaft einrühren, zum Schluß nochmals je nach Geschmack und Konsistenz. Es sollte eine dicke, hellgelbe Soße entstehen, die noch mit Salz und Pfeffer abgeschmeckt werden muss. Als letztes Estragon unterziehen und bis zum Servieren kalt stellen.



  1. Beautiful! I had crevettes when i was in france recently – we don’t get them like that here in the US. Or at least, nowhere that I’ve lived. Loved your mayo. Your life makes me so envious! I saw that you lived near Alsace. Have you been to Colmar and Ribeauville? Loved those places.


    1. Merci beaucoup, Mimi. I have been to both places, though it´s a few years ago, and I love them, too. Pittoresque!
      I wasn´t aware about the availability of seafood in the US/where you live, but I guess this makes a trip like yours to Stéphane even more delightful and special! Warmest greetings from sunny Paris, SabineX


    1. I felt the same about the black & white. But many color photos don´t work out in b& w, so this was the only one I included.
      HAve a lovely day! Sabine.


  2. Oh Sabine! Your table is a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds! I’ll be leaving for Italy and France in a couple of weeks for the summer. I’m looking forward to seeing all those colors and breathing all those perfumes.


    1. That´s so nice of you, Francesca – the food arranged itself beautifully on the table!
      How wonderful to hear you have such an amazing summer ahead of you. Wow!


  3. Sabine I confess I love those potatoes they put under the chicken rotisserie more than anything 🙂 Call me common! So glad to hear you that have a nice market near you. Hard to get French tarragon here. I had some growing but they didn’t survive the crazy weather we had in Sydney.


  4. What a lovely post and I’m so glad you found a market in your neighborhood. Those crevettes look fantastic. I’ll be in France in a couple of weeks and can’t wait for all the good food.


    1. Where will you go, Gerlinde? I find it always so exiting to try local specialities as well as the “grand classics” when I´m on holiday. I wish you a very relaxing and blissful time!


      1. We are renting an apartment in Paris for a week and then go to see a girlfriend at the Ile de Rey and return to Paris through Brittany for our flight back .


    1. Thanks, Michelle. I envy you a bit for having a tremendously good reason to do looots of cooking. I sometimes (like the mayonnaise thing) have to speed up because those kids don´t have a lot of patience with mummy absorbed with preparing fancy labour intensive stuff … 😉 and sometimes :-((
      And again, I´m very exited about your book!!!


  5. What a wonderful coincidence that I had just finished watching Julie&Julia on TV about the life of Julia Childs and her cooking career which started in Paris! To the next Julia Childs. Your recipe and the glorious photography are simply sublime! Now off to bed I go and dream of lovely things to eat 🙂 Hugs, Sharon


    1. LOL! Couldn´t be farther away from her when it comes to cooking skills! Love the unbelievably amazing Nora Ephron behind the movie.
      Wishing you sweetest dreams of cake, honey and everything your heart and palate desire! Hugs back, Sabine.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Tolle Bilder, Arrangements und Küche!! Sehr schön. Das macht Lust auf mehr davon. Werde sicher oft reinschauen !
    Lieber Gruss


  7. Catching up with your posts makes me sooo hungry, all my favourite summer holiday foods, Sabine. I am seriously happy to have all these things at home and am changing tonight’s starter. Can’t wait. N xx


    1. So great to hear you like these foods as much as I do, Nicole! And now I´m envious, because we forgot to buy seafood and aren´t sure if there´s any place near us that´s still open (one of the great things about France: food shopping almost 24/7)!


      1. Totally, I was suspecting that, too! Oh, envy about the 24/7 food shopping, I am greatly missing this from CA, although I saw a few farms here have an automat with fresh free-range eggs, potatoes and other seasonal things for those emergencies. Never out of eggs on the weekend, a great improvement for emergency cake baking endeavours…
        N xx

        Liked by 1 person

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