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Aioli recipe

Aioli recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Salad
  • Salad dressing
  • Mayonnaise

Aioli is basically garlic mayonnaise. It's a famous classic French sauce from Provence which was traditionally made with olive oil and alot of garlic. It's absolutely fantastic in a bacon sarnie!

East Lothian, Scotland, UK

11 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 350 ml

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, finely crushed
  • pinch salt
  • 150ml sunflower oil
  • 150ml extra virgin olive oil

MethodPrep:10min ›Ready in:10min

  1. Place egg yolks in a bowl and whisk in the mustard, vinegar, salt and garlic until well blended.
  2. Mix together the oils and add to the egg mixture, very slowly in a thin trickle whilst whisking vigorously. If you don't do this slowly then the oil will not emulsify with the eggs and it will not thicken. Keep adding the oil gradually until it is all incorporated and you have a thick glossy texture.
  3. Thin the aioli if you wish by whisking in some water. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, to taste, and adjust the seasoning if needed.

See it on my blog

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)

Reviews in English (1)

Very clear, straightforward recipe that worked beautifully. I was a little nervous about making mayonnaise for the first time, since I know it can be tricky, but this made it all simple.-25 Jun 2014

How to Make Garlic Aioli

Garlic aioli is the perfect all-purpose condiment&mdashyou can use it to dress up so many of your favorite foods. This mayonnaise-like spread can be a decadent topping or dip for French fries, hamburgers, roasted vegetables, and more. Traditionally, it's served alongside raw and cooked vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, or steamed shrimp in the French presentation called "Le Grand Aioli." Once you know how to make garlic aioli, you'll want to serve it with everything! The best part is you probably already have all of the ingredients you need on hand.

How do you make garlic aioli from scratch?

If you have egg yolks, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil, then you're on your way to making garlic aioli from scratch. The ingredients are simple. However, the technique makes all the difference.

Garlic aioli is like mayonnaise&mdashan emulsification of a fat into a liquid. Start by mixing your liquids together (egg yolks, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and little bit of water) with a large whisk in a medium bowl. The size of the bowl and whisk are very important&mdashyou need a large whisk and a big enough bowl so that you can incorporate more air into the mixture. This creates an aioli that's light in texture and flavor. At this point, you should also add any other seasonings, such as garlic, salt and pepper, so that they can be fully incorporated into your final aioli.

Next, roll up a kitchen towel lengthwise, so that it looks like a thin log. Wrap this around the base of your bowl on your countertop. This helps to stabilize the bowl while both of your hands are busy with the next step. While whisking constantly, start to add drops of the vegetable oil first. If the mixture looks cohesive and starts to thicken, you're on the right track! You can increase your speed to add the vegetable oil in a thin stream, always while whisking constantly.

Use two oils for this aioli: vegetable and olive oil. Start with the vegetable oil to get the emulsion going and finish with a thin stream of olive oil, the traditional oil used in an aioli. Olive oil has a stronger flavor than vegetable oil. It can also get agitated by heavy whisking and create bitter flavors, so it's best to leave it to the end when you are finishing the aioli and whisking less intensely&mdashthat way your flavors stay bright and fruity.

If at any point the mixture gets too thick to whisk easily before all of the oil is added, you can add 1 teaspoon of water at a time to loosen it, then continue to whisk in the oil.

Is aioli just garlic mayonnaise?

Aioli and mayonnaise are both very similar, however there are a couple of distinct differences. Both are an emulsion of a fat and a liquid. Typically, mayonnaise combines a vegetable oil, like canola or avocado oil, into an egg yolk. Aioli, however, is traditionally made with egg yolk, garlic and olive oil. Though the process to make both is the same, the resulting flavors will be quite different.

How long will garlic aioli keep in the refrigerator?

You can store aioli in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Because aioli is made with raw eggs, you want to eat it while it's relatively fresh. Keep in mind that the longer that you hold the aioli, the more intensely garlic-y it will become. If you make this a few days ahead, you may want to cut down on the amount of garlic, depending on your taste.

How to Make This Aioli Recipe

You have a lot of different options when it comes to how to make aioli more interesting and flavorful. Many people love lemon aioli or garlic aioli. Well, this recipe includes both lemon juice and garlic — plus a nice dose of basil.

As long as you have all of the ingredients on hand, this aioli recipe doesn’t require much more than throwing them all in a food processor and blending. Then you have yourself a delicious and dynamic sauce to enjoy as a condiment on sandwiches or as a dip for sweet potato fries.

First, you’ll want to make sure you remove the stem from your fresh basil leaves.

After putting the basil leaves into the food processor, add in the raw garlic. The garlic can be whole cloves or chopped.

Next, add in the eggs yolks.

Add a tablespoon of lemon juice, ideally fresh lemon juice to really brighten up the flavor.

You’re almost ready to blend. Put the olive oil and avocado oil into the food processor along with the pink Himalayan salt.

Blend all ingredients until well-combined. You may need to scrap down the sides of the food processor to get the aioli fully out of the food processor. Plus, you don’t want to leave any of that goodness behind!

Use immediately as a dip with sweet potato fries or fresh veggies. You can also add it to your next healthy sandwich.

If you’re not going to use your homemade aioli immediately, you can store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 3/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Chop garlic, and add a pinch of salt. Mash into a paste with a knife's flat side or a mortar and pestle.

Whisk egg yolks with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Slowly add lemon juice and water, and whisk until thoroughly blended.

Add about 1/4 cup oil, drop by drop, whisking until emulsified.

Gently whisk in remaining oil in a steady trickle. Stir in garlic.

Sweet Paprika Aioli

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Aioli, a garlicky mayonnaise hailing from Provence, is commonly used as a gourmet sandwich condiment. This version with sweet paprika is great on a sandwich, as a dip, or dolloped on broiled mussels for a quick cocktail party appetizer.

Game plan: The aioli can be made up to 4 days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container. For a slacker solution, fold the garlic, mustard, and paprika into good-quality store-bought mayonnaise.

How to make Garlic Aioli Video

Did you know? Health Benefits of this Recipe!

Not only is garlic appetizing, it’s also extremely good for you! A member of the onion family, garlic is low in calories but high in vitamins and nutrients such as Manganese, vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, Iron, and more. This means that garlic can be used to prevent and reduce symptoms of illnesses like the flu and colds. In addition, it can reduce blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, improve bone health, and so much more!

Given the long list of health benefits included in garlic alone paired with the benefits of the healthy fats in egg yolks and olive oil, this Garlic Aioli recipe is a super healthy addition to your diet.

Place the egg yolks in a bowl with the crushed garlic and salt and whisk together using a balloon whisk.

Gradually whisk in the oil, just 2-3 drops at a time to begin with, until the mixture starts to thicken and emulsify. Once this happens you can add the oil in a thin stream, whisking all the time, until nearly all of it has been incorporated.

Whisk in the lemon juice, then gradually whisk in the rest of the oil until you have a smooth and thick mayonnaise. Taste and season with a little more salt, if necessary. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.


We ate dinner on the back porch four times last week -- only partly because I’ve been making aioli, though that probably could be considered reason enough.

Essentially, aioli is nothing more than raw garlic pounded with a little salt and a couple egg yolks into a sticky paste, with just enough olive oil beaten in to make it creamy. It is absolutely delicious, in an elemental, breathtaking sort of way that is perhaps best appreciated out of doors.

On its home turf in Provence, aioli is the quintessential summer sauce and the centerpiece of numerous street fairs which, as Richard Olney relates in “Simple French Food,” often culminate in an orgiastic aioli monstre, “the entire population turning out to pile plates high with boiled salt cod, potatoes, carrots, green beans, artichokes, chick-peas, beets, hard-boiled eggs, snails, squid stew and huge globs of garlic mayonnaise, liberally moistened with the local rose.”

While everything Olney describes sounds quite delicious, there’s a difference between Southern France and Southern California.

And that got me thinking: If I were to make a Californian monster aioli, what would it be like?

Delicious visions danced through my head: Meats, seafood, vegetables -- what wouldn’t go well with a really good aioli?

But before I could begin playing with any monster menus, I knew that I had a chore to attend to. I had to learn to make aioli -- a really good aioli, that is.

I’ve been making aioli for years and every once in a while, when all the stars were in alignment, everything would work according to plan.

I’d pound the garlic to a paste in my big, Thai granite mortar and pestle. Then I’d use the pestle to smear in the egg yolks. Then I’d stir in the oil and lemon juice.

Voila: a golden, creamy mayonnaise, sweet and pungent from garlic and with a slight fruitiness from the olive oil.

More often, though, about halfway through the process I’d wind up with something that looked like badly scrambled eggs. The mayonnaise had broken beyond repair, the eggs and the oil separating into a greasy mess.

When that happened, the only cure was the blender: Whip up a whole egg, then slowly pour the broken mayonnaise into it. This is a sure-fire fix, almost guaranteed.

The only problem is that the high speed of the blender beats in so much air that you wind up with an aioli that is pale and fluffy rather than golden and creamy. The flavor is pretty good, but it lacks the finesse of the handmade. (The same thing can happen if you whisk too vigorously.)

MY first thought was that I must be using the wrong recipes. So I pulled out half a dozen of my most reliable cookbooks that include aioli. Then I made up a little spreadsheet and broke down the recipes into the amounts of garlic, egg, oil and lemon, then compared them.

What I found was that few of my favorite experts agree on anything.

Judy Rodgers, in “The Zuni Cafe Cookbook,” makes aioli with only one or two cloves of garlic Anne Willan, in “French Regional Cooking,” uses six to eight to make the same amount of sauce.

Thomas Keller, in his “Bouchon” cookbook, uses confited garlic that has been roasted in olive oil, rather than raw. Some call for fruity olive oil, some call for mild. In the “Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook,” Alice Waters calls for a mixture.

Some add the lemon juice at the beginning, some at the end. Waters and Rodgers don’t use lemon juice at all.

Because these are all very good cooks, clearly the secret to a good aioli isn’t in some specific formula of ingredients. And if it isn’t the ingredients, that means it must be the technique.

Suddenly, I remembered my pie crust days. I once spent an entire summer trying to learn how to make a great pie dough. Then somebody -- I believe it was Nancy Silverton, then the pastry chef at Campanile, or Kim Sklar (her assistant then, now the pastry chef at Literati II) -- pointed out that when I was rolling out the dough I was pushing down too much. If I’d keep my elbows tucked in, I’d stretch the dough rather than smash it. D’oh!

And after half a dozen tries making aioli, what I learned was similarly basic. My problem, it turned out, was not somebody else’s recipe, but my own impatience. I was adding the oil too quickly.

Aioli, like mayonnaise, is an emulsion of two usually antagonistic ingredients: oil and water (from the garlic and the yolks). In creating any emulsion, the early stages are trickiest, when the union is at its most fragile.

Because of all that garlic, this is even truer of aioli than mayonnaise. While I can whip up a decent mayonnaise without much thought by beating in a thin stream of oil until it thickens, with aioli you really have to proceed a drop at a time at the beginning. This is a very shaky emulsion, and if you try to go too fast, whoops, you’re back to the blender with another mess.

I found a few helpful tricks. First, the egg yolks should be at room temperature to absorb the oil most readily. Also, the addition of the oil is easier to control if you will transfer it to a measuring cup with a pour spout and then prop the cup against the lip of the mortar so you can drip it into the mixture slowly and smoothly.

And while you really need to pound the garlic to get it smooth, creating the egg yolk and oil emulsion requires gentler treatment: Stir the mixture, don’t grind it.

In fact, I find switching pestles in mid-mayo is a help. The granite pestle that came with my mortar weighs more than 2 pounds, which is great for pounding, but after five or 10 minutes of stirring, gets a little ponderous. I’ve got a wooden pestle from Japan that weighs only a few ounces, and that is much better for stirring.

I also found that after always having added lemon juice to aioli, I now agree with the Bay Area contingent and leave it out. Try this sometime: Make a good aioli without lemon juice, and taste it. Then add a little lemon and taste it again. Keep repeating, adding a little more lemon each time.

I found that the first half-teaspoon of lemon juice seemed to improve the flavor, but as I added more lemon, the oil seemed to become harsher and harsher. After being sensitized to this, when I went back and made aioli again, even that meager half-teaspoon of lemon juice seemed to have the same effect.

Rather than adding lemon, I now follow Rodgers’ advice and add a little water, which then allows me to add more oil. This balances the pungency of the garlic and reduces its burn without adding harshness. You wind up with an aioli that finishes sweet rather than bitter.

The texture of the aioli will stiffen as you add more olive oil to it. Remember that it should be a creamy mayonnaise consistency, so stop adding oil when you get to that point. If it starts to get at all rubbery, stir in a couple of drops of water and that should loosen it up.

Unfortunately, it seems to be impossible to quantify exactly how much oil to add for two egg yolks. The amount always seemed to vary, but whether this was because of differences in egg yolk size, speed of stirring or the downright temperamental nature of mayonnaise is hard to say. So the recipe is for a range. Pay attention to the texture and use your judgment.

Though aioli tastes so good you may be tempted to try to keep it in the refrigerator as a staple, don’t. After half a day or so, the garlic flavor begins to change, becoming metallic. If you do need to refrigerate it, let it only be for a couple of hours and then bring it back to room temperature before serving. It’s the texture thing again -- chilled, the olive oil thickens and stiffens the mayonnaise.

Having solved the riddle of aioli (the first chore of summer finished!), I moved on to playing with my monster menu.

Over the course of a week, I experimented with all sorts of meats, fish and vegetables. Basically what I found is that there are few things that can’t be improved by a good garlic mayonnaise.

A couple of items would have been perfectly in place in Provence: I love hard-boiled eggs with aioli, and also steamed tiny potatoes (though I couldn’t resist dusting mine with a little smoky Spanish pimenton).

The same with fat asparagus spears and green beans. Remember to cook them just to the point that they’re beginning to soften but still a little crisp -- that’s the best texture for a creamy sauce like aioli.

Arrange all of these vegetables on a platter with a few hard-boiled eggs scattered among them. And feel free to eat them with your fingers, dipping them into the fragrant mayonnaise. Aioli is not a sauce for politesse.

Other dishes were slight twists on tradition. The French aren’t real big on grilling, but we Californians certainly are. And I found there’s nothing that brings out the sweetness in aioli like a whiff of wood smoke.

After blanching artichokes just long enough to cook them through, I grilled them briefly over oak to add just a hint of Central Coast tang. I also served aioli with grilled flank steak, crusty on the outside and still juicy and rare in the center.

What to drink? I tried several wines, white and red, and found the only thing that really worked was ice-cold rose, but boy, did it ever sing.

The combination of sweetness and acidity was absolutely perfect. This was true of both the wonderfully complex Sinskey Vin Gris of Pinot Noir -- my house rose -- and the relatively simple Bonny Doon Big House Pink.

Make an evening of it lingering in your backyard: the honeyed perfume of Southern California summer twilight, the lingering smoke of food grilled over a wood fire, the sweet berry scent of a good rose, and underlying it all, the heady scents of garlic and olive oil. A monster meal, indeed.

Le Grand Aioli

Gentl and Hyers for The New York Times. Food stylist: Maggie Ruggiero. Prop stylist: Glen Proebstel.

For those interactive group-gathering festive meals that first come to mind — fondue, say, or raclette — you either have to maintain a giant heated stone by an even larger roaring fire or a balance a pot of boiling oil, molten cheese or finicky chocolate over a live flame. Le grand aioli, by contrast, is a distinctly relaxing, convivial and participatory group meal that requires no dangerous apparatus: It’s just a vivid spread of vegetables, simply cooked, and a few pieces of steamed seafood to go with the large quantity of rather garlicky mayonnaise. Since the meal is served at room temperature – neither hot nor cold – it is one of those exceedingly-gentle-on-the-cook meals for which you can just sit down and stay down. The only exertion involved once you set it out is passing the cold wine.

Aïoli garni

A wonderful sharing dish that's guaranteed to illicit oohs and aahs when you bring it to the table, this classic Provençal platter is all about the big bowl of thick, intensely garlicky aïoli in the centre. In this recipe Charlie serves it with salted cod , boiled eggs and seasonal vegetables from his garden, but the beauty of this dish is you can use whatever is at its best at any time of year.

Charlie says: 'Aioli garni is a Provence farmhouse champion, a traditional Christmas Eve dish, and also a Friday family feast, according to Elizabeth David. Le Grand Aïoli has the addition of ‘the beef from the pot-au-feu or even a boiled chicken’. A little attentive preparation and getting the best ingredients you can find makes the finished product inexorably better. It’s a favourite of mine, something that always lingers in my mind and can be produced with an array of vegetables, not just the ones listed here, meaning it can be a year-round platter. Think asparagus, beans and crunchy lettuces for the summer!'


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