I have a love-hate relationship with mayonnaise. I couldn't stand it when I was a kid. Later, I grew to like it, but only in small doses. However, there are some things you just can't make without it - creamy salad dressings and certain creamy dips, and usually a generous serving is more fat than I want. It's not so much that I'm worried about the calories, as that it makes me feel overly full and ruins my appetite for other food.
I've seen a few cashew based mayonnaises out there and wanted to make my own. I started with this one at VegWeb, but I flavored it like the recipe in my Joy of Cooking and then tweaked it a tiny bit. This is so tasty! It's rich and creamy without being heavy. No one flavor predominates; your first impression is "mayonnaise." It's thinner than the store-bought stuff, but all homemade mayos are. The best part is that it only gets 25% of its volume from oil, compared to 80 to 85% for classic egg-based mayonnaise recipes.
I plan to make all kinds of things with this. I'm putting it in some coleslaw this weekend, and the rest might become Ranch dressing.
3/4 cup raw cashew nuts, soaked for 2 hours or longer
1/2 cup water
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons white vinegar (I used rice vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
Tiny pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1/3 cup neutral tasting oil (I used canola)
Puree the cashews, water, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, and cayenne pepper in a blender until creamy. Remove the center piece of the blender jar lid, and with the motor running, drizzle the oil in a the thinnest possible stream.
Makes 1-1/4 cups.