If you spent any time with me as a kid then you remember my mother's amazing tomato sandwiches. Fresh baked white bread topped with homemade aioli, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Simple and beautiful. Juicy. A deterrent to vampires.
It is that last quality that must have stopped me. I spent ten years doing people's makeup, and after a particularly harrowing experience with unforeseen quantities of raw garlic, I gave up garlic. That also meant giving up aioli, my mother's signature garlic mayonnaise, but I thought now would be the time to bring it back for the sake of ripe tomatoes.
Unfortunately, after years of whipping up batch after flawless batch of aioli, my run of luck has ended. Now all I produce is olive oil/raw egg soup. It's disgusting, and an expensive waste. I have checked every blog and cookbook to figure out the reason for the failures, but I'm done. Done! I've brought all the ingredients to room temperature, warmed the bowl, added extra egg yolks, and the only difference I can find from what I did before is that I use olive oil. However, the whole point for me is to do this with a heart-healthy oil, and if I can't do that, I might as well use whatever horrible GMO soybean oil-based mayo I can get.
I checked The Classic Italian Cookbook and found that Marcella Hazan, at least, made mayonnaise with olive oil. So that can't be the problem either. She opens her section on mayonnaise by saying that she "can't imagine anyone with a serious interest in food using anything but homemade mayonnaise". As if I wasn't feeling bad enough already, she goes on to say that this is "one of the easiest and quickest sauces you can make" and that it can "make or break any recipe of which it is a part". Well, well. That's disappointing news for me.
So while I really believe everyone should be able to make healthy delicious fresh mayonnaise at home, I no longer recommend it. Too risky, and who needs all the disappointment? However, I am going to include my mother's original recipe here for posterity because it was amazing and it worked for years. And who knows, maybe you are having a lucky streak. If you are, you should try this!
Lucky or not, everyone should celebrate summer's passing the way it was meant to be celebrated, with a tomato sandwich slathered in mayo.
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. pepper
2-3 peeled garlic cloves
2 Tb. lemon juice
1 cup corn or canola or safflower oil
Into the processor work bowl, fitted with a steel knife, dump the salt, pepper, and dry mustard. Put on the lid and start the motor. Dump the garlic cloves in and chop them well, pausing once in the process to turn off the motor and scrape down the sides of the work bowl.
Break the egg into the work bowl and pour in the lemon juice and about 1/8 cup of oil. Process, allowing the mixture to blend for about 10-15 seconds. Then take the remainder of the oil in a measuring cup and pour in a small steady stream into the work bowl through the feed tube. This should take no more than 10 seconds. Allow the aioli to process for another 45-60 seconds to permit full emulsification.
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