Foolproof Mayonnaise

asparagus in season

Asparagus are finally here! It’s so worth the wait. What shall we do with them? As a rule of thumb, it’s best to grill or roast the fat ones and steam or blanch the thin ones (blanch just 45 seconds in lots of salted boiling water). Ideally, you buy them so fresh they need no cooking at all; just dip in a good sauce.

herbs in mayonnaise

My preference is for a homemade mayonnaise, which is not at all complicated. The only caveat concerns the eggs: since they need to be raw for this sauce, they must be fresh and from hens that live in healthy, clean conditions. If you feel squeamish about this, here are instructions for pasteurizing eggs in the microwave: http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/eggsdairy/ht/pasteurize_eggs.htm

pasture fresh eggs

For an added kick, add a cup of chopped sorrel or two smashed garlic cloves. Or any herb you fancy. This is the mother recipe.

Foolproof Mayonnaise
1 whole egg (or just yolk if pasteurized as above)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup Canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh pepper – about 10 twists of the mill

Combine all ingredients except the oils in a blender (including herbs and/or garlic). With the motor running, begin adding oil – drop by drop at first—then in a fine stream. You will hear the sauce begin to thicken as you start running out of oil. The sauce should be spreadable and a pale yellow color. (Or pale green if you’ve added herbs.) It should last in the fridge for a week.

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2 Responses to Foolproof Mayonnaise

  1. Dalia

    Nan, what is the advantage of using the whole egg instead of just the yolk in the mayonnaise. I’ve always just used they yolk. Does the white add something special?

    • Nan

      Two advantages to using the whole egg: no waste or need to separate eggs, and a fluffier, creamier, lighter mayo! Try it with just yolk. Then try with whole egg. See which version you prefer!