For as long as I can remember, I have detested store-bought mayonnaise. It doesn’t matter the brand, the very sight of that off-white, jiggly stuff in a jar (or worse … squeeze bottle) is enough to make my stomach turn.
While I am generally a card-carrying member of the condiments appreciation club, I cannot do store-bought mayonnaise. Sorry.
This aversion to mayo unfortunately extended to the real thing as well. While I have tonnes of cookbooks that feature mayo recipes and while I have thumbed through many a magazine article extolling the virtues of making your own mayo, I have never even batted an eye.
While in Paris, without even realizing it, I enjoyed a sandwich on some crusty french bread that had been slathered with mayo. “What is this glorious sauce?”, I thought.
And then not too long ago I was perusing the heart (and stomach) nourishing In The Green Kitchen and I came across a recipe for Garlic Mayonnaise and I experienced the most urgent desire to make mayonnaise.
If you aren’t familiar with In the Green Kitchen, you should become so quickly. What a beautiful book! When I say it’s “heart-nourishing” I mean it has a quality that strikes the heart right through the stomach. It is a deep and lovely affirmation of simple cooking.
It has all the hallmarks of an Alice Waters book: fresh ingredients, responsible cooking, local food, ambitious but never inaccessible and most of all, delicious.
The book is a gentle stroll from making a beautiful salad all the way to cobbler, with stops at biscuits, peperonata and roast leg of lamb.
As for me and my homemade mayonnaise, well, it was a revelation.
It was creamy and lemony and luscious. I spread it on anything that wasn’t nailed down.
I ate it all up.