Real Mayonnaise


Many years ago when my French friend Camille moved to the United States, she commented how strange it was for her to see Americans buy mayonnaise at the store and keep it in the fridge for months. At that time, I thought it was equally strange for her to make mayo from scratch whenever she needed it. But it turns out that she had the better idea.

Real mayonnaise is simply egg yolk and olive oil, with a little seasoning. Because there are only a few ingredients, quality is important. Use cold-pressed oil and eggs from pasture-raised chickens. Made right, it's a nutritious condiment you can whip up in minutes.

Eggs from pasture-raised chickens are more nutritious than conventional eggs and they aren't just good for us, they are also good for the environment. Grain production required to feed factory farm animals, and the waste they produce, is a major contributor to pollution of air, water and soil. And buying better eggs supports farmers who respect the natural behaviors of animals they raise.

This recipe makes about a cup and a quarter of mayonnaise. You can easily cut it in half to make less. Because it is so perishable, it's a good idea to make only what you plan to use within a few days.

Note: This recipe contains raw egg yolk. Salmonella bacteria thrive under conditions in confined animal feeding operations where a diet of grain, overcrowding, constant contact with waste, and mechanized slaughter make contamination a common problem. It would be extremely rare to find these pathogens on eggs from pasture-raised chickens, but it's always good practice to rinse them gently before you crack them open.

  • 2 egg yolks from pasture-raised chickens
  • 1 tsp Dijon or home-made mustard (optional)
  • 1 cup cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 2 to 3 tsp
  • Sea Salt 

  1. Combine the egg yolk and mustard in a small bowl and whisk until creamy. 
  2. Continue to whisk while adding the olive oil drop by drop until the mixture begins to thicken, then add the remaining oil in a thin stream. 
  3. Use lemon juice to thin the mayonnaise to the desired consistency. 
  4. Add a small pinch of sea salt and taste for seasoning. Make any necessary adjustments, adding more lemon juice or salt. 
  5. Store what you don’t use fresh in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Optional: To give your mayonnaise extra flavor, once it has been prepared, mix in minced garlic, finley chives or tarragon, a pinch of curry powder, grated ginger, and/or minced jalapeno.