Mayonnaise is an immensely important sauce and if I had to choose a single 'Desert Island' sauce, this would be it. It pairs perfectly with many different ingredients. Some books will terrify you with words of warning before you start making the sauce. Others are perhaps a little casual in their approach, all I will say, is to be a bit careful, take your time and just remember the important rules, as stated below. Once you have made it once or twice, making it won't cause you a second thought and by then you will realise that there is simply no substitute for the real thing. Let us be clear: there is no comparison whatsoever between mayonnaise from a shop bought jar and the real thing. If you use good eggs and oil, this sauce can transform the foods you serve with it.
I keep a jar of this hot and spiced North African-inspired paste in the fridge most of the time. I find it a really useful condiment for seasoning and marinating and on some occasions for adding a little heat to certain dishes.I use it with grilled lamb, pork and chicken, with oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, on hard boiled eggs and in an omelette, stirred through a mayonnaise as a sauce or through olive oil to make a slightly hot vinaigrette for crisp and cool salad leaves. I use medium hot chillies such as a Cayenne, Jalapeno or Serrano and find that gives me a level of heat that is obvious but not too scorching.
This is a great recipe which can be used all year 'round. I use fresh berries in summer and autumn, and frozen in winter. The geranium leaves for this recipe come from the lemon scented geranium, and they add a highly scented and delicious flavor to the syrup and the fruit. You will find this geranium in a good garden centre and it is well worth having. It can sit outside in a sunny spot in summer and needs to come back in to a sunny windowsill, conservatory or glass house for the winter months. It is immensely useful and I also use it to flavour mousses and soufflés, sorbets, granitas and ice creams. It also pairs beautifully with blackberries and apples, or better still a combination of both of those fruits. I have on occasions replaced the geranium with mint, lemon balm or lemon verbena with excellent results. Serve these berries with Raspberry Fool or Ice Cream or with Chocolate Mousse or Soft Vanilla Meringues.
If you do not use all of the chorizo-flavoured oil on the salad, keep it covered in the fridge and use it for frying cooked potatoes or roasting vegetables at a later time. The chilled oil will keep perfectly chilled for several weeks.
This flavoursome purée of the inexpensive root couldn't be simpler and is delicious as an accompanying vegetable with lamb, pork or duck. Don't forget to save some of the cooking water for adding to the purée. The purée can be prepared ahead of time and reheated later, in which case a little more of the cooking water can be added if necessary, but do not add the olive oil and Parmesan until the very last minute.
Serve each tart with cream on top and the sauce on the side.