As I mentioned the other day:
Once I was going to write a cookbook.
Then other things happened, like that time I bought that building and opened that chocolate shop.
So from time to time I’m going to post some of the things I wrote for the cookbook here. OK?
A friend of mine recently asked me about what to do with artichokes, so I thought I’d write a blog post about that. In order to write that post, I need to refer to this post, which I originally wrote for the cookbook. So here we go!
If cashew béchamel is a new all-purpose white sauce, almond mayonnaise is a new all-purpose tart, creamy sauce with a wide variety of uses. My friend Selma developed the basic recipe, and uses it to dress cole slaw. It’s heavenly.
A Midwestern-transplant recipe tester of mine pointed out that, though it is a lovely dressing, this is not what most people envision when they think of mayonnaise (and not just because it’s made from almonds). That is: it is not spreadable. I confess that this is partially because I have somewhat of a horror of traditional gloppy, oily mayonnaise cluttering up an otherwise zesty and bright dish. (I was quite honored when my tester artfully pointed out that “It is your duty as an East Coaster to hate mayo,” being as I am a transplant to my beloved coast.) If you desire plops of mayo as opposed to drizzles (what this dressing as written will give you), use up to 1/4 of a cup less water than the recipe says. The dressing thickens up considerably overnight, however, and usually needs additional water whisked into it the next day, so keep that in mind when determining how much liquid to use.
Like the cashews in the béchamel sauce, the almonds in this recipe benefit from being soaked for a few hours or up to three days.
This makes about 2 ½ –3 cups of dressing, all of which might not be needed. You can halve the recipe, or freeze the leftovers.
½ cup almonds (preferably raw, with skin or without, preferably organic)
3-4 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
1 cup water
½ cup grape seed oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1-2 tablespoons prepared mustard, to taste
3-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoons freshly ground pepper, or to taste
splash Tabasco or other hot sauce
- Blend almonds, lemon juice, and water in blender until emulsified. Drizzle in grape seed oil with blender running in a thin stream. Add salt, mustard, vinegar, pepper, and Tabasco and blend until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more sea salt, lemon, pepper, or mustard as necessary. Add more water if necessary for a creamy consistency.