I’ve read a lot about making mayonnaise by hand. Old-fashioned cookbooks tell you that pushing the egg and oil around a mortar, with the pestle, is the one genuine way to make mayonnaise.

One of my friends takes a fork and puts it to eggs and oil, producing mounds of shining mayonnaise with a little elbow grease and patience. I’ve tried it; it doesn’t work for me.

I’ve put eggs and seasonings in the blender jar, nervously adding precious olive oil drop by drop and praying for the stuff to emulsify. More often than not, I just got a thin soup. Whisking by hand in a stainless-steel bowl works better, but it’s a lot of work.

Then I read that food processors come equipped to help you make mayonnaise – easily. That’s something I haven’t thought of since buying my machine, about 10 years ago. (Goes to show you, it’s worth reading manuals.)

Let me introduce you to my beat-up old food processor top. There’s a tiny hole in the food pusher, a little off-center to the left.

That hole is there to allow oil to dribble from above, drop by tiny drop, while below the egg and seasonings whirl around in dervish ecstasy, emulsifying toward their destiny as you hover over them. How cool is that? In five minutes, mayonnaise to your order.

Season it as you will. Last night, for guests over for dinner, I made aioli, a very garlicky mayonnaise. Last time I made aioli I’d spent half an hour whisking frantically away, getting olive oil all over everything, and working myself into a hissy fit. This time, I let the food processor do the work and in five minutes, I serenely scooped out a beautiful, perfect and very garlicky mayonnaise. Ah, life is good sometimes.

Aioli Sauce Recipe

PrintPrep5 minutes Cook Time4 minutes Yield1 cup


  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 large (or 3 medium) garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp good prepared mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • White pepper (to taste)


  • Put everything except the olive oil in the bowl of the food processor (use the steel blade).
  • Process at high speed for 2 minutes.
  • While the machine is running, pour the olive oil into the pierced food pusher – do it in parts if it’s too small to accept the entire cup of oil at once.
  • Just let it drip in. In about 2 minutes more, open the food processor and behold your aioli.

How do you eat aioli?

  • Prepare all kinds of raw and cooked vegetables; spoon aioli over them or dip them into the sauce.
  • Try aioli over grilled salmon or any fried fish.
  • Or chicken.
  • Spread it on bread and top with your favorite sandwich filling.
  • Use aioli instead of plain mayo next time you make egg or tuna salad.
  • You just have to love garlic.

For regular plain mayo, leave out the garlic and proceed as above.

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