This is such an essential dressing, not just for salads but also for cold poached fish, other cold dishes and mayonnaise-based sauces, that I find it odd how many people resist making it and resort to the commercial jar. It really is not difficult to make by hand with a whisk, and it’s a cinch if you have an electric hand mixer, a blender, or a food processor. I like to make mayonnaise with a fruity imported olive oil or half olive oil and half peanut oil, but according to how flavorful or bland you like your mayonnaise you can use any oil you like--olive, peanut, com, safflower, cottonseed, or the light grapeseed oil imported from France.
NotesBlender Mayonnaise: Put 2 whole eggs, the salt, mustard, and lemon juice in the blender and mix for just 5 seconds at the blend or high setting, then, with the machine still running, remove the cover insert and dribble the oil in very slowly until the mayonnaise starts to thicken, then add the rest of the oil more quickly. The minute the mayonnaise is thick and smooth, stop blending.
Food Processor Mayonnaise: Use the metal blade of the processor when making mayonnaise. Put 1 whole large egg and 1 egg yolk, the salt, mustard, and lemon juice in the beaker and process until blended, about 2 or 3 seconds. Then, with the machine still running, gradually pour in the oil, as you would if using the blender, until thick and smooth; then stop processing.
Yogurt Mayonnaise.: Combine equal parts of mayonnaise and plain yogurt.
Mustard Mayonnaise: To each cup of mayonnaise add 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard.
Total Timeunder 15 minutes
Make Ahead RecipeYes
Dietary Considerationkosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian
Equipmentblender, food processor
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturecreamy, light, savory, tangy
Type of DishCondiments
- 2 egg yolks (from extra-large eggs)
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1½ cups olive oil, or half olive and half peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
To make mayonnaise by hand, beat the egg yolks, salt, and mustard in a bowl with an electric hand mixer or wire whisk until the yolks become thick and sticky. Gradually beat in the oil, drop by drop, until the mayonnaise starts to thicken and stiffen, then beat in the remaining oil more rapidly, making sure it is incorporated before adding more. When all the oil is beaten in, beat in the lemon juice. Remove to a covered jar or bowl and refrigerate. It will keep for up to 10 days in the refrigerator.
1981 James Beard