Aioli

Aioli is essentially mayonnaise, but mayonnaise with a pedigree. Redolent with raw garlic and olive oil, aioli is synonymous with Provence. It is used as a condiment for many dishes, including simply cooked vegetables, fish soups and seafood. It also makes an unusual spread for toasted croutons or dip for crudités.

Aioli and Crudites

Traditionally, aioli is made with a mortar and pestle and a whisk. In these modern times, I am thankful for the food processor, without which I wouldn’t attempt it. The food processor ensures emulsion, which is when the oil becomes suspended in the egg yolk, resulting in a thick and creamy texture.

The trick with aioli is not letting either the olive oil or the raw garlic overpower the flavor. Normally, I love the taste of olive oil in everything, but in aioli, too much olive oil can definitely be too much of a good thing. Many recipes call for all olive oil, but I have found that using a ratio of one part olive oil to one part neutral-flavored oil, such as canola or vegetable oil, yields the best results. Similarly, I have seen recipes calling for 4 or even more whole garlic cloves, but for my tastes, 2 large garlic cloves is the perfect amount. Your mileage may vary, of course.

Aioli

Yields: ½ cup
Serves: 8
Time to make: 15 minutes
Keeps: 1 week in the refrigerator

What you need:

  • 2 eggs, yolks only, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 large garlic cloves, pressed
  • ¼ cup olive oil and ¼ cup vegetable oil, mixed
  • food processor
  1. Process together the egg yolks, lemon juice and garlic
  2. With the food processor running, slowly pour in the oil, beginning with just a few drops until the emulsion starts to form
  3. Continue processing until all oil is combined

Notes: If you like, vary the flavor of the finished aioli by adding a little seasoning. For instance, to serve aioli with a Spanish tapas spread, I stirred in 1 tbsp. smoked paprika.

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3 thoughts on “Aioli

  1. » Continental Comfort Food 20 February 2007 at 8:17 pm

    […] Aioli […]

  2. […] mayonnaise, but leftover sauces and dips make much more interesting sandwich spreads. Try pesto, aioli, homemade salad dressings, salsa or tomato sauce. Even a flavored oil and some vinegar will enliven […]

  3. […] which would be quite decadent and delicious. But even something as simple as a pesto, salsa or aioli would work. But even without the sauce, they are yummy and very quick to make. If you have time to […]

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