Basil and Parmesan Mayonnaise Recipe

Joshua Bousel

Unless I'm outdoors grilling, I try to avoid the use of excess heat while cooking during the oppressively hot days of summer. This leads to more sandwiches and salads than usual in my diet, and I'm always looking for ways to make those more delicious and inspiring.

That's where this basil and parmesan mayo comes in. It's quick to put together—basil, parmesan, anchovies, and garlic are pureed in a food processor along with the standard mayo ingredients of egg yolk, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard; then an emulsion is formed by slowly drizzling in a combo of regular and extra-virgin olive oils.

A few minutes of work later, a full-flavored mayo is born, one whose fresh basil mixes with the nutty and salty parmesan to create a creamy, robust mayo that can instantly do a lot of the heavy lifting in a salad dressing or on a sandwich. Spread this on rustic white bread with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, and you have and quick, refreshing summer sandwich that's perfect on a scorching day.

Recipe Facts

Active: 5 mins
Total: 5 mins
Makes: 1 cup

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  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 anchovy filets
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic (about 1 medium clove)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste


  1. Place egg yolk, basil, parmesan, anchovies, water, lemon juice, garlic, and mustard in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until basil is finely chopped and all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

  2. With motor running, slowly drizzle in oils through feed tube. Season with salt to taste. Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Special equipment

Food processor