A Bit About Aioli

What is aioli?

The name "aioli" means "garlic and oil" in Valencian. It seems pretty straightforward, but depending on where you are, aioli is something different. In America, it is made from mayo, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. In southern France they use egg yolks, garlic, olive oil, and mustard. These two methods have been argued over, which is correct, but the truth is, neither are. Traditional aioli has it's roots in the northwest Mediterranean and is simply made from garlic, salt, and olive oil.

The aioli purists of Spain believe that the main distinguishing factor between aioli and mayo is whether an egg yolk is included. 

Traditional Ingredients

The traditional way to make aioli is by adding garlic and salt to a mortar and pestle, which is then emulsified with olive oil. 

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

A Modern Twist

Instead of using a mortar and pestle, a food processor is used; Some do claim that the results aren't the same while others say there isn't a difference. When it comes to deciding to add an egg yolk or not, mayo is used instead.

Different Flavors

For different flavors, try adding:
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce; 1/4 cup fresh cilantro; 1 1/2 tbsps. chopped dill; 2 springs fresh rosemary; 8oz sun dried tomatoes; 3/4 tsp. smoked paprika and cumin; 1/4 cup Italian parsley; 1/4 cup fresh basil.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

How to Serve

No matter how you make it, aioli and be used as a dipping sauce, in place of mayo on a sandwich, as a sauce for roasted vegetables or for meat. It delicious on top of crab cakes, tuna cakes, shellfish, and boiled eggs. The possibilities are endless with this condiment and I encourage you to try new pairings.

Traditional Aioli Recipe

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon water to adjust consistency

  1.  Add garlic and salt to a mortar and pestle and mash until a fine past forms. Add lemon juice and 1 tsp. olive oil. Blend until incorporated. Continue mixing in olive oil a teaspoon at a time. If the consistency gets too thick, add in a few drops of water.

Southern France Aioli Recipe

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white sugar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  1. Mince garlic super fine and measure out 1 teaspoon.
  2. In a food processor, add garlic, yolks, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and sugar, until combined. With the food processor still running, stream in olive oil. Scrape down the sides and pulse for another 5 seconds. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Easy Aioli Recipe

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  1. Mince the garlic along with the salt, forming a paste. Whisk in mayo, olive oil, and lemon juice. Season with more salt to taste.


Popular Posts