"Good chefs, like artists, are visionaries. You have to have a vision of the taste, the look, the smell of your masterpiece; you hold it in your mind and make it materialize."

Onid Jatteri

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mayo magic

A quick snack I'm taking advantage of while there are small, tender summer squash to nosh on. The crispy babies are the platform for a new love - almond mayonnaise - or "Almondaise", for short. (I found this in Traci Seller's Transformational Kitchen recipes - worth exploring at

where you can order her wonderful e-books.)

Here's the very SIMPLE how-to:
1. Soak 1/2 c. whole raw almonds in water for 4 or more hours. Drain the water off, put the almonds in the blender.
2. Add 1/2 c. water and process until a smooth paste forms.
3. With the blender still running, drizzle in a thin stream of olive oil - 1 cup of light olive oil (or extra virgin if you really really love the stronger flavor). The mixture will be thick, with a bead of oil riding on top of the churning mixture.
4. While still running, pour in 2-3 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice, blend one more minute. You may have to stop and push mixture down, then reblend.

Store in lidded jar in the fridge. It keeps well, about a week - if it lasts that long! This wonder food can be used in all the usual mayo ways, fill in for dairy in casseroles, or eat with a spoon (I'm guilty)!

Sprinkled with a few strategic pine nuts, this is an outrageously tasty, nutritious, fresh and very simple snack. The small container travels in my little lunch bag with an icepack and a couple of sliced squash - no excuses for not eating raw while running errands, and a satisfying crunchy beach snack while others are eating chips and dip!

I'm all about keeping it simple.

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