Mayonnaise is a standard sandwich and salad dressing ingredient, but what most people don’t realize is that it can be delicious if made from scratch. Americans have gotten used to just popping open a jar and spreading it on bread, adding it to recipes, and making salads with it. Although it’s possible to get a decent jarred variety, homemade mayonnaise offers such an upgrade in taste and texture that it’s really worth making yourself, especially for a special occasion.
The great thing about homemade mayonnaise is that you can vary the ingredients to suit the food you’re serving it with. From thyme and rosemary to mustard or champagne vinegar, small additions to this simple condiment often end up adding great flavor to the finished product.It’s just as easy to add herbs or a dash of mustard as not, as you’re simply pureeing everything in a blender anyway, so you should feel free to experiment freely.
Mayonnaise is ridiculously easy to make once you know how, although I’ve found a couple of methods make for a better end product:
1. Drizzle in your oil slowly and stop adding when you’ve reached the desired thickness.
2. Remember that the mayonnaise will thicken once refrigerated.
3. Using only olive oil can make the mayonnaise have a strong olive taste, which may be good for some dishes, but not for others.
4. I like to add both some lemon and white vinegar, particularly when using olive oil in the recipe.
5. Add the herbs with the egg so they are nicely minced and incorporated into the final product.
6. I like to use organic eggs as they will remain uncooked and so pose a lower salmonella risk. That said, pasteurized eggs are also readily available from the grocery store.
Here’s the recipe. I hope it’s simplicity will inspire you to make a batch yourself.
1cup oil (I like using 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 cup canola oil, but only canola oil is fine. You can also use all olive oil, but it will have a stronger taste)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp white vinegar (I like sherry or champagne vinegar and usually add it only if using olive oil)
1 tsp herbs (I prefer thyme, but any herb is fine)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Place egg, lemon juice and vinegar in a blender.
2. As the mixture purees, slowly drizzle in the oil until you get the consistency you desire. Remember that it should be slightly runny as it will firm up in the refrigerator.
3. Season with salt and pepper and use as desired.
Note 1: Anything made with raw eggs has a risk of carrying salmonella.
Note 2: Please be sure to refrigerate any dishes prepared with the mayonnaise and the mayonnaise itself to avoid spoilage.