Thursday, 5 September 2019

"not a tomato and egg sandwich"

an ode to late summer tomatoes
There is something magical about mayonnaise....when you look at the ingredients before making it:egg yolks,olive oil,lemon juice or wine vinegar,salt and pepper...a little dijon mustard and out of that amalgamation comes on of the greatest cold sauces ever, a flavour without which summer would be incomplete. Purists claim that true mayonnaise must be made by hand in a stone mortar with a wooden spoon.This is time consuming and the mayonnaise is prone to separation during the early stages.True food processor mayonnaise is a poor imitation of the real thing, but mayonnaise made using a hand-held electric whisk or a food mixer is excellent, and I would challenge anybody to tell the difference between one made in minutes using a whisk and one made by hand.I accept that,given the time,there is an almost sensuous pleasure to be had from making mayonnaise the old-fashioned way.It is an elemental process which is deeply satisfying. However I have never had that half an hour needed to indulge myself in this way.
More often than not I make a sandwich for our lunch.But in this hot weather I often feel the call for a simple salad, and sometimes when I want a break from leaf greens, this is the sort of recipe I hanker for,a nearly end of summer but not quite autumn yet dish. It is basically a deconstructed egg mayo and tomato sandwich. I call it  "not a tomato and egg sandwich".All the makings of a sandwich, but just not one.It is missing the sandwich part of the equation and so becomes a salad.Something else that differentiates this tomato salad from all the others  I make is that there is absolutely no olive oil being drizzled. Just big dollops of luscious home made mayonnaise. This salad is all about the  unique texture and taste sensation that happens when you combine tomatoes and egg with home made mayonnaise. Just boil some eggs for six minutes, slice the tomatoes in thick slices, and spoon on dollops of home made mayonnaise.Just to show it was a deconstructed sandwich I served it with bread too.Well after all, that is what we do in Portugal. There is always bread on the table. 
 "not a tomato and egg sandwich"
2 x medium sized eggs
1 tsp flor de sal
1/2 tsp ground pepper
300 ml /1/2 pt sunflower oil
2 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
juice of 1 lemon
300 ml /1/2 pt olive oil
Separate the eggs* and put the yolks into a bowl with the salt and full speed,beat the yolks and begin adding the sunflower oil a few drops at a time, until it starts to thicken.Start to pour the oil in a thin stream until all the sunflower oil is incorporated.The mixture will now be very thick,so beat in the mustard and half the lemon juice before adding the olive oil.if it is still too thick,add the rest of the lemon juice and some boiled water, a tablespoon at a time.When you have incorporated all the oil,taste and add more salt and pepper if needed The final mayonnaise should have a dropping consistency.
*for a less rich mayonnaise do not separate the eggs and use the whites also

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