Avgolemono (Greek Egg and Lemon Sauce)

20200518_220234Every culture’s cuisine seems to have some sort of sauce or dip that’s used for almost everything.  Americans have ketchup, Greeks have avgolemono.

20200518_223850(All links open a new page, so you won’t lose your spot when you look around!  Get information on gardening and cultural traditions, recipes, stories, and more!)

You may have heard of Greek avgolemono soup before.  It’s the chicken soup cure-all that every Greek mom and yiayia (grandma) swears by.  No joke, if I tell my mom that I or anyone else in the home is sick the first thing she’ll do is offer to bring some of this soup over.  I won’t say no.

Avgolemono sauce is made using the exact same process and ingredients but instead of being something added to enrich a soup, it’s slightly thickened with a little flour.  Typically you will see it drizzled over cooked vegetables and things like cabbage rolls or dolmades (Greek stuffed grape leaves).  It’s creamy texture and bright, lemony flavor is a perfect accompaniment for so many foods.

20200518_223914A couple of key things to note in making this sauce is that the order and speed in which you add ingredients really does matter.  Every Greek knows the fear of having their avgolemono curdle.  It doesn’t affect flavor, but the appearance and texture will be off.  It’s easy to avoid this problem and you’ll be regarded as quite the kitchen guru when you prepare it!

Avgolemono (Greek Egg and Lemon Sauce)Recipe

  • Difficulty: psshhh... so easy
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This sauce is usually made with broth from whatever is being cooked at the time, like the leftover broth from cooking a pot of dolmades.  However, any hot broth will do.  Be sure to strain any chunks out of the broth.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, fresh or bottled
  • 1 cup hot broth (not boiling)
  • 1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • salt to taste

Directions

Using a whisk, blender, or hand mixer beat the ever loving crud out of the eggs.  I now have a handy beverage blender that works perfectly for this!  Add the lemon juice while the eggs are being beaten, 1 Tbsp. at a time.

Add half of the hot broth in a slow steady stream to the eggs while still beating them.  This will temper the eggs and warm them up without cooking them to the point of solidifying.  With my beverage blender running, I’ll pour the broth through a funnel to keep it from spilling out.  If you are doing this by hand, one hand should be whisking the eggs and the other slowly pouring the broth.

Put the mixture in a small sauce pot with the rest of the broth.  Put the flour in a small bowl and add a tablespoon of the egg mixture to it.  Whisk this together to blend the flour, then add it to the pot.  Gently heat the sauce over low heat while constantly stirring with a whisk until it is thickened.  The sauce should be slightly thicker than heavy cream.

The sauce can be served hot or cold.  It can be poured over cooked vegetables, dolmades, keftethes (Greek meat balls), etc.  It can even be added to soups to add a creamy, lemony flavor.  Enjoy!

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