Asparagus with homemade French mayonnaise

Truth be told, I’m not the biggest fan of mayonnaise (especially store-bought), but when I saw Dana from I Got Cake use a similar technique to make a dressing to her amazing-looking Caesar Salad the other day, I was reminded of this easy recipe from my childhood. I remember making this while my mother and grandmother bustled around the kitchen in our Normandy home, preparing lunch and dinner for ten or more people every day. As such, I guess this simple homemade mayonnaise recipe reminds me of my childhood, family and my burgeoning love of cooking.

The mayonnaise recipe couldn’t be simpler and really tastes 100x better than any mayonnaise you can get ready made in a supermarket. It can be used in much the same way (even in sandwiches, if you’re a fan), but I remember it most used three ways at home: with freshly-boiled asparagus, steamed artichoke leaves and steamed whelks and prawns – our Normandy home being close to the seaside, fresh seafood was often on the menu, with fresh bread, rock salt and this mayonnaise.

Interesting old French wives’ tale: this mayonnaise won’t take if it’s made by a pregnant  woman, according to my grandmother. Indeed, if a pregnant woman tries to make this mayonnaise, it will apparently split. I’ve never been able to test this old wives’ tale, but if you are expecting, beware!

Side note: this mayonnaise keeps for about a day or two in the fridge, but is best when at its freshest!



1 tsp dijon mustard

1 egg yolk

125 ml oil

1 dash apple cider vinegar or lemon juice




1. In a small bowl, whisk together dijon mustard and the egg yolk. Lightly salt and pepper.

2. While continually whisking, pour oil into mustard-yolk mixture little by little.

3. Whisk in vinegar or lemon juice, then salt and pepper to taste.

4. Enjoy – I personally dip asparagus spears or the edible end of artichoke leaves in the mayonnaise before eating them.


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