I love salads.
Okay, let me rephrase that: I love pasta salad. And I love tuna salad, and chicken salad, and potato salad. Well, you get the idea.
You know one thing they all have in common? Mayonnaise.
All my “salad” recipes call for mayonnaise. It has a creamy goodness that is hard to replicate, and it’s an emulsion that helps give smoothness and stability to any sauce.
I was totally craving a tuna salad sandwich the other day. Crispy, crunchy bread, and creamy tuna. And I always try to sneak vegetables in wherever I can, so I usually add in celery and tangy fermented pickles.
But to my horror, there was only a tablespoon of mayonnaise left in my fridge. (Who leaves a tablespoon in a jar?).
Living in the rural Northwoods as we do, it’s difficult to find mayonnaise that meets my criteria. For example, I don’t like to buy anything with canola oil, which is mostly genetically modified.
And have you heard of calcium disodium EDTA? It’s a preservative added to just about every single store bought mayonnaise on the shelves today.
EDTA can be used as a medication for chelation therapy, or for people with lead poisoning. But side effects can include exacerbation of asthma, seizures, diabetes, along with worsening of heart rhythm, liver, and kidney problems.
It’s also a persistent organic pollutant. Yikes.
I’d rather not consume anything like that, and serving it to my family is right out.
Luckily, I keep all the ingredients to make my own mayonnaise on hand — and you probably do, too!
Simple ingredients, and a little spinning: et voilà! You have a batch of mayonnaise that costs a fraction of the price, and you didn’t even need to make a trip to the store!
I like to use my mini food processor. It’s a lot like this one. It’s the perfect size for this batch of mayonnaise, and it has small holes in the lid that are the perfect size for drizzling, which aides greatly in the emulsification process.
But I figure not everyone is going to have a mini food processor on hand.
So I tried making a batch in my blender-and it worked! My blender has a hole in the lid at the top for pouring, but I used it to slowly pour in the oil.
Adding the oil slowly is a key method to creating the emulsion that makes the mayonnaise so thick and creamy. Make sure you have a way to (safely) add the oil slowly.
So here you have it: Mayonnaise with simple ingredients, in a blender in less than ten minutes!
Makes about a cup and a half
1 large egg, room temperature
½ tsp ground mustard
½ tsp finely ground salt
2 pinches sugar
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup oil, I like to use safflower
- In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and vinegar. Set aside.
- In the jar of your blender, add the egg, mustard, salt, and sugar. Give it a few pulses to mix it together.
- Add half of the lemon juice/vinegar mixture. Give a few more pulses to mix thoroughly.
- Through the hole in the lid, add a small amount of the oil, about two tablespoons at first. Blend on a low speed until the mixture gets lighter in color, about 15 seconds.
- Set the blender to a medium-high speed, and drizzle the oil in a thin stream at a very slow speed until it is half gone.
- At this point you may see that the mixture has already started to stiffen; great! You’ve got an emulsion going! If you still see a liquid, don’t worry, I’ve still gotten properly emulsified mayonnaise at this stage. Spin it in the blender on high for a minute or two without adding any more oil.
- Add in the remaining lemon and vinegar, and keep blending, and slowly adding the remaining oil.
- Scoop out your mayonnaise, and dollop on your favorite sandwich, or salad!
There you have it: mayonnaise from your own pantry, with real ingredients, in under ten minutes, for a fraction of the cost from the store!
What’s your favorite way to use mayo? Do you have a go-to “salad” recipe, too? Let me know in the comments below?