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This silky sauce is just the thing for dressing steamed spring veggies.
No whisk, double boiler, or culinary degree needed: This no-butter sauce blends faster than you can say "emulsification." Using olive oil instead of butter slashes saturated fat by 70%. For the most delicious flavor, we use a combo of oils; all extra-virgin would yield a bitter sauce, and all pure would taste too mild. Be sure to use a mild-tasting extra-virgin oil here to avoid any harshness. Here's how to create it in three easy steps.
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1. Warm the oils.
Heat oils slowly in a small saucepan over low to 120°F: hot enough to thicken and lightly cook the egg yolks, but cool enough to keep them from curdling. You can pull the oil mixture from the heat at about 115°F and transfer it into a spouted measuring cup—residual heat will carry it up to 120°F.
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2. Pour slowly.
You're forming an oil-water emulsion (like with vinaigrette), with the yolks acting as emulsifiers to help it stay smooth and creamy. Pour the oil in a slow, thin stream—forming the emulsion gradually helps it hold together longer than if you combined all the ingredients at once.
3. Thin with water.
Hollandaise is a thick, pourable sauce. The exact thickness is a matter of taste. If you like yours thinner, blend warm water (1 tablespoon at a time) into the mixture until it reaches the consistency you want. Water, along with a pinch of sugar, also balances any bitterness from the oil.