REAL FOOD 101: Homemade Mayonnaise (Lacto-Fermented)

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lacto-fermented mayonnaise

Raw pastured egg yolks are a superfood, and my body soaks them up like nothing.  Coupled with olive oil and simple flavors of mustard, lemon, and sea salt, this sauce hardly deserves the maligning it has received over the years.  Homemade mayonnaise is simple to whisk together, ferment for a few hours with whey, and then use in a myriad of recipes: aioli for fish, chicken salad, egg salad, hors d’oeuvres, hollandaise, herbed for sandwiches, and so many other uses.

I love making homemade condiments now, but I was not always so amiable about the task.  All you need is a bowl and a whisk, and a few wholesome foods to morph into the lovely, velvet emulsion that is mayonnaise.  Plus, I look at this as an opportunity to roll up my sleeves a work a little for my glorious pale sauce.

Even Julia Child in Mastering the Art of French Cooking says to use a blender or food processor to make mayonnaise a snap, but I find that I get into trouble when machines are involved.  I cannot get my oil to combine well at all when I use my food processor.  But if you have a top-of-the-line food processor then it would probably work.  Or an immersion blender, which I have not tried myself but many people use with success.

Homemade mayonnaise is very versatile, not just in which recipes you incorporate it into but also within the mayonnaise recipe itself.  You can shift the ingredients in this recipe to suit your taste.  Use this classic recipe with added herbs or spices, or you can also play with the fat that you use to change the flavors.  I use olive oil in mine, because I have a lovely late harvest olive oil in my pantry right now.  But you can use sesame oil, bacon fat, macadamia nut oil, or any other buttery flavored oil to change things up a little.

(edited to add) Note: You need to find a late harvest olive oil to make this recipe work.  The bright grassiness of an early harvest olive oil is great for salad dressings and bread-dipping, but really doesn’t work in mayonnaise.  Late harvest olive oil is mellow, buttery, and mild.  This is perfect for homemade mayonnaise.

Equipment Needed:

  • whisk and large bowl
  • quart glass jar with screw-top lid

Homemade Probiotic Mayonnaise
makes 2 cups

4 egg yolks, room temperature
juice of one lemon, about 4 teaspoons
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (buy unrefined sea salt here)
2 cups mild, late harvest olive oil (buy healthy oils here)
3 tablespoons whey (how to make whey)

  1. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks for about one minute to warm them up.
    Add lemon juice, mustard and sea salt and whisk for one more minute.
  2. Whisking vigorously, start to add the olive oil in, drop by drop for several seconds, then in a very thin stream.  Do this for about 2 minutes, or until your arm is really working and you have incorporated at least 1/2 cup of the olive oil.
    Then you can add in a steady stream.  The finished mayonnaise with be thick.
  3. When all the olive oil is incorporated, add the whey and whisk to combine.  Scoop your lovely sauce into a glass jar, and screw the lid on completely.  Leave at room temperature for 7 hours.  Then, transfer to the refrigerator to stop the culturing process.  When it is fully chilled, the mayonnaise will thicken up even more to a typical consistency for mayonnaise.
(If you don’t want to bother with making your own mayonnaise, you can cheat.  But not by going to the store and buying vegan mayonnaise.  The point of mayonnaise is healthy, nourishing fats.  If you do want to buy, make sure you choose a good brand.  I have heard that the mayonnaise on my resource page is amazing!)
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