There is something really rewarding when you prepare yourself the foods that you usually get ready made from the supermarket. Think mayonnaise for example. Most of us get the commercial one. But think back at a time when supermarkets did not have mayonnaise. Think back at a time when households made their own.
I grew up with the supermarket one. Like most of us I guess. My mother did not. When I told her I am making mayonnaise this week, she told me her own stories. We did not make a lot, she said. Just the quantity we needed for every meal. We would have grilled fish and as the fish would cook, we would make mayonnaise. We used egg yolks and mustard. Lemon juice. And just olive oil, none of these oils you see now at recipes.
Indeed, researching recipes for mayonnaise, most use a mixture of olive oil and sunflower oil. The taste of mayonnaise made with other oils is milder. Olive oil is quite intense on its own. This is exactly why you have to make it just with olive oil. And with an olive oil with a robust, peppery flavour. Only then you can tell the difference between a mayonnaise that’s there just to brighten up your salad or crisps and a mayonnaise that you can’t stop eating with a spoon straight out of the jar (this is the writer’s own personal experience with this recipe here). This mayonnaise made with our 27C olive oil is like a velvety cloud when you taste it. But then, the acidity of the lemon and the richness of the olive oil kick in. And it’s a velvety cloud with sparkles. You can also try it with our 18C, for a more floral and grassy finish. Up to you really.
So go on, make your own. And maybe you’ll become like us, swapping the supermarket jar for this one.
In the recipe below, it’s important that all your ingredients are at room temperature and that you pour the olive oil very slowly. Imagine a thin string of olive oil. Or do half a teaspoon at a time until you feel confident enough to pour. And keep whisking until you get the silky texture you need.
Makes 1 jar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp mustard
juice of half a lemon, plus more to taste if needed
250ml of extra virgin olive oil
Whisk the egg yolk and the mustard. Slowly add half of your oil, whisking constantly. Add the lemon juice, whisking constantly. Add the rest of your oil (you guessed it), whisking constantly. Taste and season with salt and more lemon if needed. Store in the fridge.