Homemade Saffron Mayo

Recipe: my mighty mayo

Home-made mayonnaise can be whipped up in moments to add a dash of panache to your dishes. just follow my recipe – and discover the secret French tip to rescue a mayonnaise that’s breaking up.

Here we are, the most daring recipe of all, I’m talking about the mighty mayonnaise! It’s amazing how many people think it’s difficult… and it’s actually so simple. It’s all about the ingredients and the tools, and the rest is a walk in the park… 

So, you need:

  • a large whisk
  • A medium-sized bowl
  • Dijon mustard
  • Fresh egg(s)
  • Sunflower oil   
  • Salt


  • First separate the yolk from the white (one egg is enough for a mayonnaise for 4 people). 
  • For every egg, add a heaped teaspoon of Dijon mustard to the bowl. Mix it roughly, and let to rest, as this is where the trick lies: Dijon mustard contains a high level of vinegar and the vinegar ‘cooks’ the eggs. Therefore, leave it for a while, and go and do any other task you need for the final recipe. You can leave it for 5, 10 or 20 minutes, it doesn’t matter. 
  • When needed, go back to the bowl, and whisk gently again, you’ll find the mixture has somewhat thickened. 
  • Whisking gently, pour a  continuous drizzle of oil. Your mixture will start to slowly thicken as you go along.
  • Tip: If you see that the oil start to separate from the egg and mustard mix, don’t panic: stop pouring the oil, and whisk energetically. Your mixture will come together again in seconds. Keep pouring the oil until you get to the desired quantity. Plus, see my million-dollar tip for how to rescue a mayonnaise, below.
  • Tip: Be aware that the number of yolks or mustard won’t change anything to how much quantity you can achieve, but it will alter the taste. The higher the ratio between oil and other ingredients, the blander the taste will be. You’ll have to adapt to what type of mayo, or which final ingredient you add to create the perfect balance in your recipe. 

How to make a saffron mayonnaise

Crushed saffron strands. Photo by Thierry Rousseau.

For a saffron mayonnaise, put a few stigmas in a small bowl, crush them and soak them with a tablespoon of tepid water. Leave to infuse a minimum of two hours (overnight if possible). When your mayo is ready, simply pour the whole thing into your mayo an hour before serving and leave to chill in the fridge.R

How rescue a mayonnaise that is starting to separate

And now is the time for my first million-dollar trick for sauces: if the oil starts to separate, pour a teaspoon of boiling hot water, whisk for ten seconds, and your mayo will be as smooth as a baby’s bum. The trick works also to loosen the mayo, as it can turn surprisingly thick. To French standards, the perfect consistency is achieved when a spoon can stand firmly in your mayo! 

Leave a Reply