Doug Nester’s Dill Mayonnaise (From Dean & DeLuca)

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes: about

    1½ cups

Appears in

This is the most perfect cold dill sauce for fish I have ever tasted. I have -A. to control myself to keep from eating it by the spoonful! It is herby, lemony and tangy with a lovely background of mustard. I tasted it one day, when buying fish at Dean & DeLuca, my favorite neighborhood specialty store (considered by many to be the father of all American specialty stores). It had been created as an accompaniment to their wonderful fresh fish. I was “hooked” immediately, and thrilled to get the recipe from Doug. I scribbled it down on a paper bag before I could forget or he could change his mind.

The recipe as Doug gave it to me went something like this: Make a safflower oil mayonnaise with Dijon mustard—enough to almost fill a food processor. Add a bunch of spinach, a bunch of watercress and two bunches of dill. I thought I had it until I discovered that each bunch of herbs varied enormously. Actually, the exact amount of herbs isn’t really important. Feel free to vary it as you will, but here is how I fix it.

Read more
KEEPS: 1 week refrigerated.
room temperature volume ounces/pounds grams/kilograms
1 large egg 1.75 ounces         50 grams

(weighed without shell)

lemon juice, freshly squeezed 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon
Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons 1 ounce 32 grams
salt ¼ teaspoon
white pepper, freshly ground ¼ teaspoon
sugar ¼ teaspoon
safflower oil liquid cups
fresh dill, washed and dried, stems removed ½ loosely packed cup 0.5 ounce 14 grams
fresh spinach leaves, washed and dried, coarsely chopped ½ loosely packed cup 0.5 ounce 14 grams
watercress, washed and dried, stems removed ½ loosely packed cup 0.75 ounce 21 grams


In a food processor, place the egg, lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper and sugar. Process for a few seconds to mix. Then, with the motor on, very slowly pour in the oil. By the time all the oil has been added, the mayonnaise will have thickened. Add the dill, spinach and watercress and pulse until finely chopped, scraping the sides of the bowl once or twice.