MAKES: Almost 1 cup

TIME: 10 minutes

If you crave a vegan sandwich spread, salad dressing, or dip base, something you can use in place of traditional mayonnaise, you can stop buying commercially made substitutes now. In fact, you can whip this up in the time it takes to pull the jar from the store shelf and walk to the checkout counter. If you’ve tried store-bought products and don’t like them, you should give homemade Vegannaise a chance. (And if you think these ingredients sound weird, you might start reading the labels on mass-produced products you consider ordinary!)

A few technical details: Cider vinegar lends a more mayonnaiselike flavor; lemon juice is brighter. For a slightly golden tint, add the pinch of turmeric (or, if you have it, saffron). Don’t skimp on the blending time; your reward will be a creamy, airy consistency. All the variations to Mayonnaise and the add-ins work for this recipe too.

6 ounces (about 3/4 cup) extra-firm silken tofu

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons cider vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

Pinch of ground turmeric (optional)

Put all the ingredients in a blender. Turn the machine to medium speed and let it run for a minute or two, then turn it off.

Scrape the sides of the container with a rubber spatula, turn the blender back on, and let it run for 3 minutes. Stop and scrape again, then run the blender for a minute or so more. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Serve immediately or store in a jar in the refrigerator for up to several days.

Variations

Sweeter Vegannaise, Salad Dressing Style. Like really good Miracle Whip, if that makes sense: Add a tablespoon of sugar or honey along with the other ingredients.

Thicker Vegannaise. The consistency will be more like store-bought: Reduce the oil to 2 tablespoons and the vinegar to 1 tablespoon. You will have to stop and scrape the sides more frequently.

Vegetarian Caesar Dressing. It’s no longer vegan, but it doesn’t contain eggs: Add 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce, Hold the Anchovies, and several grinds of black pepper.