Italian Mayonnaise

I know that as winter draws in, mayonnaise might not seem like the most seasonal of recipes; but in reality this is one of the most useful things you can have in the fridge whatever time of year it is... Good, homemade mayo is an absolute must for sandwiches; is a necessity for croquette dunking or fritter slathering; perfect for dolloping on grilled chicken or fish; and a pint of prawns just wouldn't be the same without it. The clever thing about this recipe is that it only features a few ingredients, and none of them are mustard. Elizabeth David writes about how horrified Italians are about the concept of adding Dijon to mayonnaise, and after experimentation I kind of agree that this is the best version; simple, authentic and with lots of heart healthy Extra Virgin Olive Oil.


  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Free Range Egg Yolks
  • Pinch Maldon Salt
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • Lemon

Crush the Garlic in a pestle & mortar with a big pinch of Maldon Salt

When smooth (ish), add to a large bowl.  Add the 2 Free Range Egg Yolks to the bowl too

[This recipe will make 1 jar of Mayo; if you're after more, use extra Egg Yolks]

Add the juice of half a Lemon (or a bit more)

Start whisking with an electric whisk… on a fast setting

Start adding Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or Rape Seed Oil, or a combination) VERY slowly

Take care as you gently add the Oil that it is mixing in thoroughly… as you add more, you’ll see the Mayonnaise getting thicker (emulsifying) and you can start to add the Oil a little quicker (but not too quickly)

The Mayonnaise is ready when you’re happy with the consistency… It will start to stop looking quite as glossy when you’ve added enough Oil, by which point it should be quite thick and wobbling in one chunk on a teaspoon…

Put into a clean jar… will keep for a week or 10 days in the fridge

Enjoy with lots of stuff… It is much more versatile than shop bought mayonnaise and a particularly good friend to light broths or stews… a spoonful at the beginning will combine with the liquid by the end of a meal to create a delicious, creamy sauce; you will definitely need spoons…. (Bean Stew or Casserole for example)

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