Basil Mayonnaise

From The Art of Simple Food II, by Alice Waters

We frequently make our own mayonnaise here.  Once you get the hang of it, it’s a cinch, and takes so much better than the store bought version.


1/2 bunch basil (about 1/2 cup lightly packed leaves)


1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon water

1 cup olive oil (if your olive oil is very strong, cut it with a bit of vegetable oil, or it will take over everything else in the mayo)


Pick the leaves from your basil.  Coarsely chop them and pound them to a paste with a mortar and pestle.  Add the salt and pound that in too.  Add the egg yolk and water and blend well with a whisk.  Transfer to a mixing bowl.  Measure your olive oil into a cup or pitcher with a spout.  Very slowly (and I mean VERY slowly), dribble the oil into the egg yolk, whisking constantly.  Continue to add the oil, a small bit at a time, and whisk, whisk, whisk, until all of the oil is emulsified into the egg/basil mixture.  If it is too thick, you can thin it out at the end with a bit of water or lemon juice.  Adjust for salt.

meal or course
brunch, buffet, dinner, hors d'oeuvre, lunch, salad, side, snack
recipe type
quick + easy