A true representative of my generation, I have spent most of my life without a clear mental distinction between ‘food’ and ‘food product’. Mayonnaise is a perfect example of this modern phenomenon. I grew up with the vague notion that mayonnaise could only exist as something that came from a jar that you bought at a store. How could you possibly make mayonnaise Surely you needed special equipment, magic ingredients, high tech processes not available to the home cook. This may all be true, of course, if you’re trying to make store mayo. It never occurred to me, however, that the store-bought stuff is just a bastardization of real mayonnaise, which is the stuff you make at home. Oops!
Just for fun, let’s compare the ingredients on a bottle of Kraft “Mayo with Olive Oil Reduced Fat Mayonnaise” (you know, the healthy kind with the homemade mayonnaise it took me 5 minutes to make this morning.
Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil Reduced Fat Mayonnaise: water, olive oil, canola oil, soybean oil, vinegar, modified food starch, sugar, maltodextrin, eggs, contains less than 2% of salt, mustard flour, dried onions, dried garlic, natural flavor, enzyme modified egg yolk, beta carotene* (color, lactic acid*, potassium sorbate* and calcium disodium edta as preservatives, phosphoric acid*
* Ingredient not normally found in mayonnaise
Homemade mayonnaise: olive oil, egg, lemon juice, mustard, salt
Ill take the latter.
Truth be told, I have never been a big mayonnaise fan. I always asked for burgers and such without and I was thoroughly grossed out in my college years to discover Europeans using it as a dip for fries. I now realize that this was entirely due to the fact that I was never really sure what mayonnaise was supposed to be. Mayonnaise was just some sort of white, non-vegetable-based condiment, and that creeped me out. Now that I know what mayonnaise is supposed to be (essentially healthy, whipped fats, I see how perfectly it fits into a primal diet. Furthermore, now that I know how mayonnaise is supposed to taste, I see how utterly delicious it is.
Homemade mayonnaise is a wonderful way to incorporate a creamy element into your primal meals without having to use dairy. It is very simple to make if you have a food processor or a blender, and it can be flavored hundreds of ways for as many applications. Here is a good basic recipe with a few ideas for variations.
Ingredient list and proportions are adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything
1 cup olive oil
1 egg or 1 egg yolk (I used the whole egg
2 tbsp lemon juice
tsp dry mustard
salt & pepper to taste
Add egg, cup olive oil, lemon juice, dry mustard, salt to container blender or food processor. Turn the machine on and slowly pour the remaining olive oil into the container in a thin, even stream. Too thin Add more oil. Too thick Add a little water. Cover and refrigerate up to 1 week.
Yield: 1 cup
Since this recipe uses a full cup of olive oil, you wont want to let it go to waste. If youre wondering how you will use a cup of mayonnaise within a week, consider these primal friendly variations and ideas:
1. Make an aioli by adding cloves of fresh garlic before blending (use as a sauce for fish or vegetables
2. Add fresh herbs for a green goddess salad dressing
3. Add curry powder, lime juice and agave nectar for a creamy curry salad dressing
4. Make a big batch of devilled eggs or an egg salad
5. Make a tartar sauce by adding finely chopped pickles and onion
6. Mix with good mustard to make a dip for steamed broccoli, asparagus, or artichokes
7. Mix with sugar-free preserves and more lemon juice and use as a dressing for a chicken salad
8. Add orange juice and rind for a fruit salad dressing
9. Mix with raw broccoli, bacon, raisins, red onion and agave nectar
10. Mix with blue or gorgonzola cheese to liven up your hamburger or steak