Raised with Grandparents who always had a bountiful garden, at a minimum I keep a variety of herbs on my patio. There is a simple luxury in walking out back and gathering fresh mint, rosemary, parsley or basil. The fragrance of fresh herbs is intoxicating and the beauty in both their color and flavor is unmatched by dried herbs.
Basil is a staple in my kitchen, during warmer months an herb I grow in containers. In cooler seasons basil is most always available in the food markets and various year-round farmer’s markets in our area. Basil is an incredibly versatile herb. Fresh it imparts a slightly peppery flavor but when cooked it has a sweeter essence, which is why it is commonly paired with tomatoes.
This recipe is a new favorite, mayonnaise made with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. It’s another wonderful recipe from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Foolproof cookbook. If you have a blender or food processor making mayonnaise is quick and easy. I’ve changed the ratio of olive oil to vegetable oil in the recipe, I tend to like the richer tone olive oil brings. I also add a bit of sugar to cut the acidity.
The versatility of this mayonnaise is quite broad. It can be used as a spread with sandwiches, as a dressing for salad, a beautiful dip for crudités on a cheese board or as a sauce, an accompaniment for roast beef or beef tenderloin.
Grab your scissors, head to the garden and gather your fresh basil!
Basil Mayonnaise with Parmesan Cheese
2 extra large egg yolks
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ cup fresh basil leaves, lightly packed when measuring
½ teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup vegetable oil
In a food processor or blender, add the egg yolks, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, mustard, basil, garlic, sugar, kosher salt and pepper.
Process the ingredients for about 15-20 seconds, until the mixture is smooth.
Through the lid and with the machine running, pour both the olive oil and the vegetable oil into the mixture, blend for about 10 seconds. The mayonnaise will thicken into a creamy sauce.
Check for seasonings, adding more kosher salt or pepper to suit your taste. Cover and chill until you’re ready to use it. The mayonnaise will keep about 2 weeks stored in your refrigerator.