(Controversial?!) Mayonnaise

I caught the tail end of a programme on television recently where some poor lady was being chastised by a tv presenter for having been secretly filmed eating too much mayonnaise on all her salads (whilst trying to lose weight I think...). Clearly mayonnaise is not conducive to losing weight; nor to reducing cholesterol I would imagine. However, this mayonnaise only contains egg yolks and/or olive or rape seed oil. Egg yolks are controversial but not categorically proven to give you high cholesterol; and the olive and rape seed oils are much better for you than other sources of saturated fat, possibly what is in some shop bought mayo too. Used very occasionally and in very small spoonfuls, I suspect this isn't terrible for you, although dietician I am clearly not. Brilliantly, when you make your own mayonnaise you tend to use less of it (it takes a bit of time and thus seems more precious, and also you actually see how much olive oil goes in it which is slightly off putting when you imagine big dollops of it). Perhaps I should just add a 'use with caution' tag...


  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Rape Seed Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 large tsp Dijon Mustard
  • Pinch Salt
  • Lemon Juice

Separate your eggs and add the egg yolks to a bowl (use the whites for adding to fritters or to meringues and souffles)

Crush your garlic with a pestle & mortar so it is smooth

Add a good pinch of salt, a squeeze of lemon juice, the garlic and a good teaspoon of Dijon Mustard to the eggs

Start whisking with an electric whisk (on fast eventually)

Add 100ml (or a third of a mug, ish) of Rape Seed Oil in a very slow stream (or drops if you are worried!)

Then move on to adding Extra Virgin Olive Oil – use as much as you need to get it to Mayonnaise thickness, you may prefer a more dressing-ey thickness or something much denser

When you’re done – add another couple of big squeezes of lemon juice and check the seasoning and taste

You could add chopped herbs, capers, gherkins or chopped red onion if you fancy flavouring your mayonnaise

You’re supposed to make this really slowly, adding the oil painful drop by drop.  I think there is a bit of scaremongering about how difficult mayonnaise is to make at home.  With an electric whisk you run a much smaller chance of it going wrong; actually it is very easy.  Add the first half of oil in a very slow stream and then the second more quickly.  The whole process should only take about 5 – 8 mins, probably no more and possibly less.  If it goes wrong (separates) – put another egg yolk in a new bowl and slowly whisk the dodgy version into the new yolk; works every time – just add oil afterwards


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