Due to the ever increasing vagaries of our climate, no doubt caused by Anthropogenic Climate Disruption (the technical term for Global Warming), our herb gardening is now confined to containers. We have one sage plant that is at least ten years old, and it has to be root bound like nobody’s business. Then I saw this plant, with the German name of Berggarten (Mountain Garden), at our local plant seller. That made it a done deal.
Yikes! I planted it in this giant Mexican terra cotta container with a white Martagon lily, and the sage began growing like it was trying to escape back to the mountains of Deutschland. (I probably should add that the plant is in fact named after one of the gardens of Herrenhausen Palace in Hanover, Lower Saxony, which is not on a mountain). The interwebs descriptions call the plant “compact.” Draw your own conclusion.
Fortunately, the taste of this plant equals its magnitude. No holiday around here is complete without some cornbread dressing that tastes of sage as much as it does of cornbread. I can see a serious herb drying project in my near future.
Having made a decent regular mayo with peanut oil, I decided to up my game and make a version that Julia Child made. She actually has more than a dozen recipes in the classic Mastering the Art of French cooking, so I had to pick and choose. I just went with a version of the first one.
2 Egg Yolks
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup Olive Oil (approximately)
I made this in our ancient Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, which is well into its thirties. Add the yolks first, and whisk for a couple of minutes. Add everything else but the oil, and mix for a few seconds to incorporate those. Then comes the only tricky part.
Crank up the machine again, and whisk in the oil very slowly at the beginning, barely a drop at a time. Make sure that an emulsification is forming before you add more. Once chemistry begins to happen, add the oil more quickly. When the stuff looks like mayo, it’s done. Throw it in a jar, and store in the fridge.
Olive oil makes a very strong tasting mayo that makes a superb salad dressing. The amount of oil needed is actually dependent on the size of the egg yolks used, so there will be some variation. I do have one of the simplest pseudo French Dressing recipes in history, which I made with this. It was delicious.
Olive oil mayo
Sweet Pickle Relish
That’s it. Vary the proportions any way you like. I go three mayos to one ketchup, and relish to taste. Additions can include onions, herbs, vinegar, pepper, honey, sugar, and anything else you desire. This is a perfect recipe for people who are in their salad years.
When it’s eighty nine degrees F at noon, you wander around in your air conditioned kitchen looking at all the various weirdness you have collected over the years. Hanging on our wall was an honest to god French made herb shredder, a Mouli Parsmint. It’s actually something of a bad mother.
It may resemble a wheelbarrow, but this thing can shred some leaves. Put in some herbs, and crank it up.
It also pops open, so it can be cleaned. I really should make more pesto every year.