Welcome to the second year of Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a progressive dinner party! I can’t believe it’s been a year already. This group of ladies is so incredibly talented and I am honored to share these fun events with them! This month’s theme is Everything Herbs hosted by our founder, Barb of Creative Culinary. With gardens coming on strong, it’s a great time to add herbs to your menu and we’ve got them; from appetizers to drinks to desserts! Make sure you check out the links below the recipe.
A few weeks ago I learned how to make herb mayonnaise. We made it with chives and it was outstanding. I thought I would try a different flavor this time, using whatever herbs the The Artist thought he would like. He decided that cilantro would be fun. If you use pure cilantro (or any other strongly flavored herb) it would be overpowering. So you cut it with parsley and it becomes perfectly balanced.
These days The Artist and I are avoiding soy products and nearly all commercial mayonnaise is manufactured with soy oil because it is inexpensive. If I make it from scratch I can choose which oil I use and season it any way we want, changing it whenever I feel like it! I like knowing exactly what is going into my ingredients, and we feel better when we eat less processed food.
I have made mayonnaise in the past occasionally, but always just made a plain or garlic version (aioli). When we made the herbal version I was taught how simple it is to make herb infused oil – a lovely gift in and of themselves.
Flavored homemade mayonnaise can be used as a spread for sandwiches, as a dip for fresh vegetables, or use it like an aioli for French fries. Make your own mayonnaise from scratch and watch your family and friends bow to your greatness, LOL.
I have a delicious gluten-free focaccia I make and if I top slices with sliced cucumbers and a small dollop of this mayo, then we’ve got a modified open-faced tea sandwich – a little chewy, a little crunchy, and packed with flavor. Oh yeah, that’s what I’m talking about! Add some charcuterie to the plate, some blanched vegetables, and a little cheese and we’ve got a lovely summertime lunch that would be perfect for parties or quiet moments with the one you love.
Have a fabulous week and make sure you check out the rest of the recipes below. It is incredible to see so many creative ways to showcase herbs!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
Make sure you add the oil very slowly with the food processor or blender running. If it is added to quickly the sauce will break. And if your sauce doesn’t thicken as much as commercial mayonnaise, that is fine, it is still delicious and doesn’t have all the additives. It will also firm up as it chills in the refrigerator. And because it contains raw egg yolks, be sure to keep it well chilled and toss it out after about a week.
- Herb Oil
- 1/2 cup packed chopped fresh cilantro (or other favorite herb)
- 1-1/2 cups packed chopped Italian parsley
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 to 1-1/2 cups neutral flavored vegetable oil, as needed
- Herb Mayonnaise
- Herb oil, from above
- 2 egg yolks
- Juice of 1/2 lemon, or more if desired
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Blanch the Cilantro (optional): Fill a medium bowl with water and add about 12 ice cubes. Set next to the stove. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and holding the bunch of cilantro by the stems, dip the whole bunch into the boiling water for about 20 seconds. Immediately plunge it into the ice water to shock it and stop the cooking process.
- Set the cilantro on paper towels and pat dry. Blanching and shocking herbs helps preserve the bright green color. The parsley is sturdy enough not to need blanching.
- Make the Herb Oil: Strip the parsley leaves off the stems and place in a 2-cup measuring cup. Press down to compact the herbs as you fill the cup. When you have 1-1/2 cups of parsley in the cup, strip the cilantro leaves off the stems and add to the same cup.
- Place the herbs, cumin, and about 3/4 cup of the oil in your blender. You need enough oil so the blender blades move the mixture easily. Place the lid on the blender and puree, adding more oil as needed. Remember that you are making an infused oil, not a pesto, so add more oil than you may think you need, up to 1-1/2 cups.
- When the herbs are thoroughly pureed, stop the machine and pour the oil through a very fine wire strainer into a bowl. Press on the solids with the back of a ladle or spoon to extract as much of the oil as possible. You can use the remaining solids in other recipes such as salsas, sauces, compound butters, roasted potatoes, etc.
- Transfer the strained oil to a measuring cup with a spout for easy pouring. This oil can be used as is for salad dressings, marinades, to garnish soups, or anywhere you use regular oil. It makes a lovely gift - pour it into beautiful glass jars with a cork or tight sealing lid. You can also use it to make mayonnaise like we did.
- Prepare the Herb Mayonnaise: In the bowl of your food processor or blender, combine the egg yolks, lemon juice, and salt. Pulse to combine. With the machine running, very slowly pour the herb oil through the feed tube. If the mayonnaise gets too thick, thin it with a little more lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- If the sauce breaks (becomes grainy and separates), pour the mixture back into the cup with remaining oil (if any), and clean the food processor bowl and blade. Add another yolk to the processor, a little lemon juice, and with the motor running use the broken sauce to start the emulsification process in the new sauce.
- The mayonnaise will hold in the refrigerator, covered, for about a week.
- Yield: about 1-1/2 cups herb oil and 1-3/4 cups mayonnaise
This recipe is part of our monthly progressive dinner party, Progressive Eats. See the links below for more inspiration and great recipes!
Cooking with Herbs
- Zucchini, Potato and Herb Fritters with a Garlic and Herb Yogurt Sauce from Creative Culinary
- Pesto Pasta Salad from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Homemade Cilantro Mayonnaise from The Heritage Cook
- Methi Machli – Fish with Fenugreek Sauce from Spice Roots
- Tomato Basil Hummus from Food Hunters Guide
- Lemon Sage Mustard from Stetted
- Lemony Three Bean Salad with Feta, Tomatoes, and Marjoram from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Grilled Chicken Shawarma with Fennel Spinach Tzatziki Sauce from Jeanette’s Healthy Living
- Sauteed Zucchini Noodles with Fresh Herbs and Hazelnuts from Healthy Delicious
- Lemongrass Ice Cream from Pastry Chef Online
- Peach Blueberry Basil Cobbler from Never Enough Thyme
- Peach-Rosemary Shrub from girlichef
With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information. We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and who knows, if there is enough interest, we may consider adding additional groups.
Create a New Tradition Today!
Let’s connect! If you ever need any entertaining or cooking advice, need to alter a recipe for gluten-free, or want recipe suggestions, don’t hesitate to contact me. I can also be found at the social media site links on the right. Thanks for joining the Heritage Cook Family!
Unauthorized use, distribution, and/or duplication of proprietary material from The Heritage Cook without prior approval is prohibited. This includes copying and reprinting content and photographs. If you have any questions or would like permission, I can be contacted here. Feel free to quote me, just give credit where credit is due, link to the recipe, and please send people to my website. The suggestions here are not intended as dietary advice or as a substitute for consulting a dietician, physician, or other medical professional. It is the reader’s sole responsibility to determine which foods are appropriate and safe for their family to consume. The author makes no claims regarding the presence of food allergens and disclaims all liability in connection with the use of this site. Please see the Disclaimers page for additional details.