The headline here is, I made my own mayonnaise! Subhead: It was so simple and delicious I wondered why I don’t do it all the time. Seriously. If you own a blender and typically keep eggs and olive oil around your house, there is no reason you shouldn’t be making your own, too!
But, I’m getting a little ahead of myself. This story starts back when I began soaking a pound of chickpeas. I put them in to soak overnight and figured I’d magically know what to do with the the next morning. Turns out, I didn’t. So, I put them in the fridge and made something else for dinner. The next day came along, and I planned on making Economical Eater’s delicious-looking chickpea curry, but I didn’t get my stuff together in time to make a crockpot meal… so, again, the chickpeas languished in the fridge. Finally, on the third day, I decided I just needed to wing it. I drained the chickpeas from their soaking liquid, covered them with new water, and started cooking them while flipping through my go-to resource for all things bean-related (and more): Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.
Once again, it did not disappoint. I turned up several delectable chickpea recipes, including one for chickpea and spinach stew. We had just gotten a bunch of fresh spinach and a bunch of fresh parsley in our CSA box, so it was perfect. The recipe called for the spiced chickpeas to be served over a bed of rice or another grain (I used quinoa) and, oddly, a dollop of garlic mayonnaise as a topping.
Apparently, aioli is a common topping for chickpeas in the Middle East, so I guess it’s legit — but somehow, topping your dinner off with a healthy dollop of mayo seems decadent. Decadent, but oh-so-tasty.
This is not the mayonnaise you’re used to, though. It’s lighter and more flavorful and delicious than anything you’ve seen on your grocery store shelves, and, better yet, it’s super-easy to make. I’ve made mayonnaise before, but I did it by hand and it was a tedious process, and not one I’d be likely to undertake often. Using the blender makes it a snap, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to store-bought!
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 2 pinches crushed red pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp fresh or dried rosemary (minced if fresh)
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1 14.5-oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 15-oz cans, rinsed well)
- 1 large bunch fresh spinach, stems removed
- garlic aioli for topping (optional but highly recommended)
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- pinch salt
- ¾ cup neutral-flavored olive oil, divided
- 2-3 tsp lemon juice or white wine vinegar
- 3-4 cloves garlic, pressed
- Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, crushed red pepper, paprika, rosemary and half the parsley. Sauté until the onions are translucent, and then lower the heat to medium and cook until the onion is soft, about 10-12 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes, chickpeas and spinach and stir to combine. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted and the chickpeas are heated through, about 10-15 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve over a bed of quinoa, rice or other grains topped with a dollop of garlic aoili and a sprinkle of parsley.
- Crack the egg into a blender. Add the Dijon mustard, salt and ¼ cup olive oil. Turn on the blender and slowly stream the remaining olive oil in while the blender is running. Add 2 tsp lemon juice or white wine vinegar and the garlic. Turn off the blender and test the mixture. Thin with additional lemon juice or vinegar if needed.