…A.K.A. my twist on green mayonnaise.  Especially with dairy allergies and intolerance so prevalent, this smooth, herb-rich dip is a great addition vegetable trays and sandwiches.  It also goes well with different kinds of white fish.  We just had a housewarming party, and I served this with a tray of carrots, mushrooms, pea pods, and cauliflower.

I started by making a basic mayonnaise. If you’ve never made mayonnaise before, it’s definitely worth a try.  As long as you don’t rush the oil-adding process it’s not difficult, and it’s richer than the kind you can buy.  And the good news is that the whole process can be done in less than ten minutes:

  • 2 egg yolks (the USDA recommends using pasteurized eggs to be safe)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp mustard (you can use ground if you don’t have the normal kind)
  • 1 cup oil (canola, vegetable, olive)
  • dash of rice vinegar

In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks, salt, and mustard together.  Add a Tablespoon or so of oil and whisk that vigorously enough that you no longer see oil but just a thick, lemony substance.  Keep adding oil and whisking gradually.  At some point, add a little vinegar if you don’t mind the flavor.

This is an emulsion (a blend of two things that don’t naturally want to combine), so you need to be careful not to overwhelm the yolk with too much oil all at once.  If you do, it will cease to be mayonnaise and become pieces of egg yolk in oil.  But if you introduce the oil gradually and whisk consistently to maintain the pudding-like texture, and you’ll be fine.

After you’ve made the mayonnaise, you can add the herbs.  This isn’t a science and really could be done however you like with whatever herbs you have on hand…but as a point of reference here’s what I did:

  • big handful of parsley
  • A few stems of fresh tarragon (just the leaves)
  • A few stems of fresh thyme (just the leaves)
  • 1 whole garlic clove
  • salt
  • A spoonful of course ground mustard

For the maximum green effect, I first blanched the parsley, tarragon, and thyme.  Bring some water to boil (with just a dash of salt and a garlic clove), drop the herbs in the boiling water, remove them by pouring the contents of the pot through a strainer, and douse that in cold water.  Put the blanched herbs and softened garlic clove in the blender, add the mustard and some of the mayonnaise, and blend away.  Once the herb mixture reached a good consistency, incorporate it with the rest of the mayonnaise and let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours.  This is a more rustic version of green mayonnaise.  If you were having green mayonnaise in France, you would not be able to see any herbs in the final product. But blame it on my American makeup–I don’t mind a little texture.

When you serve this, you’ll need to keep the dip cool if it’s going to be out for a while.  If it’s in a bowl, you can just place it in another larger bowl with some icy water.