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Tarragon Mayonnaise Recipe


Homemade mayonnaise has a delightful fresh flavor of anise from the tarragon. Both hand-whisk and food processor methods are include. Tarragon mayonnaise may be made up to 3 days in advance.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 cup salad oil, such as safflower, sunflower or peanut (avoid full-flavored oil)
  • Juice of 1/2 large lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon ice water
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce


By Hand:
Place a stainless-steel mixing bowl on a damp cloth to keep the bowl from sliding around. Add the egg yolk, mustard, and tarragon to the bowl and whisk until blended.

Drizzle the oil into the bowl while whisking constantly. Be sure that the mixture is smooth and well blended at all times. Stop adding the oil periodically to allow yourself time to catch up; when there is no oil visible, continue adding and whisking. When half the oil is added, add 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice. Alternate between the remaining oil and lemon juice, whisking all the while, until both are incorporated.

Whisk in the ice water. (The water stabilizes the mayonnaise, which prevents separating, a common flaw of homemade mayonnaise.) Season to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Whisk. Store in a small container, covered and refrigerated, until needed.

Using a Food Processor:
Place the egg yolk, mustard and tarragon in the bowl of a food processor. Put the lid on and pulse the machine for a few seconds to blend the ingredients.

With the machine on, add half the oil by pouring it in at a slow but steady speed. Alternate the last half of the oil with the lemon juice until both are incorporated.

Add the ice water and pulse for a few seconds. Season to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne. Pulse. Store tarragon mayonnaise in a small container, covered and refrigerated, until needed.

Covered and refrigerated, this mayonnaise will keep for up to three days.

Yield: about 1 cup

Recipe Source: Lobster at Home by Jasper White (Scribner)
Reprinted with permission.

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