Monday, February 27, 2012

Avocado Mayo

As you might expect, I read a lot of stuff about food. And sometimes I don't remember exactly where I read it. Or exactly what I read.

Lately, I've been on a bit of a avocado binge, and I recalled reading somewhere that it's possible to use avocado instead of egg yolks to make something like mayonnaise.

Avocado works in mayonnaise because it has the right properties to make a stable emulsion with oil, and you end up with a thick, creamy product like mayonnaise for sandwiches, salad dressings, or whatever else you'd use mayo for.

So I started experimenting. And yes, it works. It doesn't taste exactly like mayonnaise because avocado has more flavor than an egg yolk. But if you like avocado, that's not a problem. And it's a light green color, unlike the creamy yellowish white of mayonnaise.

Who would want such a thing? Well, some people are allergic to eggs. And when it comes to home made mayonnaise, some folks are squeamish about raw egg yolks, or they have health reasons for avoiding them. It's also a good mayonnaise substitute for vegans or for vegetarians who avoid eggs.

And it's also really good for avocado lovers. Because you get that nice creaminess of mayonnaise, along with the flavor of avocado - but a little more subtle than if you just mashed an avocado on your sandwich.

You know how avocados turn brown after they're cut? Well, this mayonnaise doesn't turn brown - or at least it hasn't after several days in my refrigerator. So you don't have to worry about making exactly as much as you need, since it will store well for at least a few days.

You can make more than this recipe calls for, no problem. You can also make less. But if you don't have enough avocado to start with, it won't catch on the blender blades and you'll spend a lot of time fishing around to make sure it's all blended.

Avocado Mayonnaise

Flesh of 1 avocado
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
6 tablespoons mild-flavored vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water (or as needed)

Put the avocado in your blender and add the lemon or lime juice. blend until it's smooth. You can also use a stick blender or food processor. Since this is a small amount, you might need to cajole the avocado a bit to blend - some might get stuck under the blades of the blender, and you'll need to use a small spatula to make sure it's smooth. Add the salt.

With the blender running add the oil slowly, stopping the blender as needed to scrape down the blender and make sure it's all combining. Depending on how you plan on using the mayonnaise, you might want to thin it a bit. Add water, as needed, until it is the texture you prefer.

This mayonnaise makes a great salad dressing as-is, or add herbs, a little more citrus, or other flavors that you'd add to your favorite creamy dressing.

If you want something with less avocado flavor, simply add more oil and more water. Adding more oil will make it thicker, so you will need the extra water to thin it out.