What’s for Dinner: How to make an emulsion… AKA Dip

OLIVEDIPToday is National Culinary Day- and if boiling water is the extent of your culinary skills- today is YOUR day to expand that repertoire and try something NEW! Let’s make a yummy dip! Homemade Portuguese maionese de leite (may-o-NEZ duh late) or milk mayonnaise!

Milk mayonnaise is an emulsion- the mixture of two liquids that would ordinarily not mix together, like oil and vinegar. This eggless “mayo” is a light yet creamy, EASY starter for ANY dip but my favorite is an authentic Portuguese Green Olive Dip recipe I found by David Leite on his blog!

Scared? Don’t be- it’s not as hard as it sounds! All you need, essentially, is milk (any milk, even lactose-free milks), oil (any oil), a little bit of lemon juice, and some seasoning (garlic, pepper, and/ or any of your favorite herbs). I’ve seen some creative use of this as a base with Sriracha hot sauce, cilantro-ginger, curry, caper-chive, sun-dried tomato… the variations are endless! Please note that a small blender, mini chop, or handheld blender work better than larger food processors unless you’re making a bigger batch.


  • 1/3 cup of COLD Milk (skim, whole, 2%, almond… any milk as long as its cold)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 pinch of pepper
  • 3/4 cup of oil to be added SLOWLY (I use olive oil but any will work)


  1. Combine the milk, lemon juice, garlic, and pepper.
  2. Slowly add the oil in a slow, consistent stream or “thread” as you blend. It will take a few minutes but eventually your liquid will start to look fluffy. If it’s still a little watery- blend a little longer, add a little more oil, or place it in the fridge for 20 minutes and it should solidify more.
  3. You’re done with your Portuguese mayo! If you like, you can stop right here and use it as you would traditional mayo- with potato salad, BLT sandwiches, or continue this recipe to make Olive dip!

— To make the green olive dip–

Scoop the mayo into a serving dish and mix in 2/3 cup of chopped green olives- I like Castelvetrano but Manzanilla are good too.  Chop up some cilantro, sprinkle on top, and serve with some crunchy sliced veggies and toasted baguette slices!


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