Silky Smooth Oil-free Vegan Hollandaise
Silky smooth oil-free vegan hollandaise boasts the true essence of why hollandaise is so good– silky texture, robust savory flavor and bright citrus notes.
I was on a quest to create an oil-free vegan hollandaise, even if I only make it a few times in a year. Hollandaise is probably the first thing I ever made as a child. I loved it. My mother made it only few times a year, and I thought it was the best thing ever. Hollandaise is what my mother used to introduce us to artichokes when we first moved to California and what got me to like all kinds of vegetables early on. She served hollandaise with a variety of vegetables—asparagus, broccoli, green beans and sometimes cauliflower.
The Essence of Hollandaise
What is it that makes hollandaise so good? The traditional version is made with butter which makes it creamy and egg yolk which gives it sheen. But these attributes can certainly be replicated with plant-based ingredients and the oil-free vegan version has the huge health benefit of leaving behind all that saturated fat and cholesterol. The true essence of hollandaise is the silky smooth creamy texture and the bright citrus notes from the lemon.
Initially, I tried it with blended tofu, but tofu has a slight chalky taste and just didn’t have the right texture and the creamy texture is part of what makes hollandaise so good. Moving on . . . I had already come up with a super smooth creamy Luscious Oil-free Vegan Butter and a cashew based lemon cream sauce with a hint of saffron. These two recipes gave me what I needed to create a magical silky smooth plant-based version of hollandaise. Getting the cashews to be really soft by simmering makes for a very creamy, buttery consistency.
Oddly, it’s that little pinch of saffron that makes the oil-free vegan hollandaise taste so good even though saffron was never in the traditional version. Saffron adds a mild floral flavor and a lovely golden yellow hue. Saffron comes from the crocus sativa flower. In high quality saffron, the yellow stamen has been removed leaving just the deep red flavorful stigma threads, thereby giving a rich golden color and deep floral flavor. The Persian saffron is usually very high quality. A high quality Persian saffron gets really golden yellow, almost orange and your vegan hollandaise will reflect that saturated color. The flavor of saffron is floral and mellow imparting just the right saffron note into dishes.
Savory Roasted Garlic
As with Luscious Oil-free Vegan Butter which is the base of this Hollandaise, roasted garlic gives a mild but robust savory taste balancing the slightly sweet cashew flavor and makes for a silky smooth creamy texture with a sheen.
Bright Lemon Citrus
The lemon is what brings it all together. Lemons with a floral note and pronounced citrus flavor are the best here to brighten up the savory flavor from the roasted garlic. The most commonly available are the Eureka and Lisbon lemons. While lemons are available year-round, they are at their best (the most rounded flavors) in the winter to early spring. Look for lemons that are slightly pale yellow, smooth skin and have a rounded shape. During the warmer months, lemons have some bitterness.
Storing Silky Smooth Vegan Hollandaise
If you don’t use all of the hollandaise all in one night (it can happen, lol), you can store it in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid for up to four days in the coldest part of your refrigerator (usually in the back). It will become thicker, but you can give it a good stir with a fork to loosen it up. If needed, you can also stir in a teaspoon at a time of lemon juice or warm water to get it back to the consistency you like.
Tools Used in this Recipe
- small bowl
- small sauce pan
- bake pan
- parchment paper
- cutting board
- hand blender
- paper towel
- flexible spatula
- lemon squeezer