Tired of failed homemade mayonnaise or the painfully slow one-drop-at-a-time method? Then try this super simple recipe—just drop all the ingredients in a jar and blend with a stick blender. It’s never failed me!
When you make a recipe that contains mayonnaise, it can go two ways. Sometimes the mayo is a big part of the dish’s flavor—and sometimes it’s more like “food glue.” So when I make a dish that depends on the flavor of mayonnaise, I like to go homemade.
Not to mention, when I make Homemade Mayonnaise, I can be sure to use the healthful oils of my choice.
Of course, nothing is as simple as it sounds, and homemade mayonnaise can be temperamental. Blend it up wrong, and you get a runny mess.
The classic solution has always been to blend your non-oil ingredients, then add in the oil–one drop at a time. Yah, like I want to count oil drops when my stomach is rumbling, and the family is banging forks.
The physics of mayonnaise
I knew this all had something to do with physics. Since oil and water don’t readily mix, you need to get the oil broken into tiny drops and suspended in water droplets (the water comes from the lemon juice, etc.). To achieve this, it requires the right ingredients (emulsifiers like egg yolk and mustard that can help oil and water stay together) and also a good blending process. Do it right and you get oil suspended in water (mayo) and wrong and you get water suspended in oil (salad dressing) or worse yet, water and oil that won’t stay mixed.
So the first innovation in this recipe is the blending technique which I adopted from the Healthy Foodie. You need an immersion blender and the right container—something wide enough to fit the blender, narrow enough to be snug, and tall enough to allow room for everything. A wide mouthed one-quart canning jar is perfect with my stick blender. And yes, I tried (and failed at) at simply using a bowl (this is your only warning).
How did I realize that the blending configuration itself was critical? Well for years I made a blender hollandaise (another thick emulsion like mayonnaise) that never failed. Until it completely stopped working. Eventually I fingered the cause—a new blender, where the blades or container size or some part of that darn physics was different. (Someday I’ll figure that out and do another post.)
My other innovation using an oil blend. I like a bit of the flavor or extra virgin olive oil –think a good aioli — but it’s overwhelming if you use too much. I ended up using about ¼ cup (1/3 of the total) extra virgin olive oil for its health value and flavor and ½ cup (2/3 of the total) “mild” oil. If that’s still too strong for your taste, feel free to reduce the ratio even more or go with a mild olive oil.
I am still on the fence about what to use as my mild oil. My R.D. sister recommends avocado oil which I’ve just tried and works beautifully!
One other innovation is to add some garlic or fresh herbs. The options are unlimited with a recipe that actually works!
- • 1 egg
- • 2-3 tsp fresh lime or lemon juice (can sub vinegar if needed)
- • ½ teaspoon sea salt
- • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- • ½ cup mild oil
- • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Add the ingredients to your glass jar. Insert your immersion blender and push it down to the bottom of the jar.
- Turn on the blender and watch the jar contents. As the mixture turns from oil colored to white, pull the blender up along the side of the jar. When almost completely mixed, move then blender around the jar to incorporate any remaining oil.
- Store in refrigerator and use within a few days.
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