Have you ever run out of mayonnaise in the middle of making a recipe? If you knew how easy it was to make, you probably wouldn’t get in the car and drive to the grocery store…or send your husband out for a jar of it. My neighbor, Mariangela, invited us downstairs for supper last week…and told me to come early if I wanted to watch her make mayonnaise. I guess I’d mentioned to her before that I was interested in knowing how to make it. In about 3 minutes, she had smooth, luscious mayonnaise ready to serve alongside some steamed vegetables.
Mariangela showed me how easy it was to make mayonnaise.
It was so good I’ve made it myself since then and found it was as easy as it looked. She began by cracking a whole egg into a glass dish, then separating and adding another egg yolk. She stressed that it was important that these be at room temperature, though other recipes I’ve looked at online have not said that was necessary.
She then used a stand blender to beat them and begin drizzling in some oil. I used a regular blender and I know you can also use a hand whisk, so long as you have a strong arm. It is crucial that you drizzle the oil in slowly as you want to create an emulsion, which is the blending of two liquids which generally are unblendable–in this case the two liquids are the eggs and the oil.
The vigorous whisking suspends the drops of one liquid (oil) into the other liquid (egg). For this to happen properly, the oil needs to be added very slowly. The mixture will thicken quickly. In true Italian style, Mariangela didn’t measure her oil, she just judged “by eye” when it was thick enough. Most other recipes I’ve found call for about 1 cup of oil for 1 egg yolk. (No other recipe I found called for a whole egg AND an egg yolk so you’ll probably want a little more than a cup.) When I made it last week, I just drizzled in the oil until it “looked right”, without measuring…so I guess I’m learning to cook like an Italian!
Now add the juice of half a lemon, or white vinegar if you’re clean out of lemons. This gives it a little “punch” of flavor.
A pinch of salt…and then a little dry mustard if you want. (Mariangela didn’t add mustard but many recipes call for it. Makes it a bit more yellow and gives it another level of flavor.)
Now just one last whisk, or whirl of the blender and you’re ready to taste…and then finish making your potato salad, or use as a dip for freshly steamed asparagus…or whatever else you like mayonnaise for. Keeps for about one week in the fridge. Luscious and fresh. No preservatives. Store in an air-tight jar.
My lawyers asked me to make sure you realized that since the egg is not cooked, there is a slight risk of salmonella. I’m constantly amazed that eggs in Italian grocery stores are never refrigerated…and no one even mentions salmonella. But please do make sure that your eggs are fresh, Grade A or AA, and not contaminated before using them to make mayonnaise. (No, I don’t really have a lawyer…I’m just covering my bases!).
- 1 whole egg
- 1 egg yolk
- Approximately 1 C. vegetable, corn or canola oil
- 1-2 tsp. lemon juice or white vinegar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp. dry mustard (optional)
- Whisk the egg and yolk together and then begin adding the oil, just a few drops at a time until the mixture begins to thicken.
- Continue adding the oil in a very thin stream until the mixture is the consistency of thickened mayonnaise.
- Add the salt and lemon juice (or vinegar) and mustard (if desired). Whisk just to incorporate.
- Due to the slight risk of salmonella, use only fresh, properly refrigerated, clean grade A or AA eggs.
- The key to making mayonnaise is to add the oil very slowly so that the egg emulsifies with the oil. To emulsify means to combine two liquids (such as egg and oil) which normally don’t mix easily. The vigorous whisking suspends the drops of one liquid (oil) into the other liquid (egg). For this to happen properly, it needs to be added very slowly.
- Since homemade mayonnaise does not have preservatives is made with uncooked eggs, be sure to keep it refrigerated.
- For the same reasons, be sure to keep picnic foods refrigerated that incorporate homemade mayonnaise.
For additional recipes, please visit: http://ciaofromdebbie.com