The Basic Recipe

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

The Cuisine of the Sun

By Mireille Johnston

Published 1990

  • About

Homemade mayonnaise is so good and so easy to make that you can learn to make it “les yeux fermés”—that is, practically with your eyes closed. A blender or a food processor will, of course, make the task even easier. Mayonnaise can be used with cold meat, cold fish, and vegetables, or as a dip. It is also the base of innumerable other sauces.

To make 2 cups of mayonnaise:


By Hand

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-type mustard
  • 2 cups oil (half peanut, half olive oil)
  • about 2 tablespoons lemon juice or red wine vinegar
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper


Have all ingredients at room temperature. Slip a kitchen towel under a small bowl to prevent it from sliding when you beat too vigorously. Put egg yolks and mustard into the bowl and begin beating with a wire whip. After a minute or so, slowly add the oil in a thin stream while continuing to beat. When the mayonnaise begins to thicken, you may add the oil a bit more rapidly, but always beat well after each addition. When the mayonnaise is firm, add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper and beat well.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. It will keep for about four days.