Aioli is a wonderful condiment very similar to mayonnaise and is super-easy to make.
The flavour is far superior to any shop-bought mayonnaise - see this article on how to make easy homemade mayonnaise.
Very similar to mayonnaise
Essentially very similar to each other, the main difference between mayonnaise and aioli is that aioli is made with olive oil and has garlic added.
Mayonnaise is a bit lighter, made with vegetable or canola oil and has more flavourings. I love both but do find that aioli made from olive oil only is too intense and bitter for me.
Half olive oil and half canola oil
I played around in my kitchen with a variety of combinations and methods, and with this recipe I used half olive oil and half canola oil to give it a more mellow flavour.
I added lemon juice to give it some zing and a lot of garlic for the flavour (add less if you want it milder).
To make it more fool-proof, I found that using my food processor was more effective than my hand whisk.
Recipe for a basic aioli (makes 500ml/2 cups)
2 free range egg yolks at room temperature (as fresh as possible)
1 cup (250ml) canola oil
1 cup (250ml) olive oil
1 t salt
3 cloves of garlic crushed
1 T lemon juice
Place all the ingredients except the oils into the food processor and mix briefly.
While the mixer is on, very slowly add the oil through the spout at the top ensuring that it emulsifies.
It will get thicker the more oil you add.
At the end if you find it a bit thick, add a tablespoon or 2 of warm water to smooth it out.
Top tip: If it splits - this will happen if you add the oil too fast - keep mixing and it may come back together or remove the split mixture, add another egg yolk back into the bowl and re-emulsify with the split mixture.
This is the base aioli that is wonderful on its own or can be tweaked to make a variety of incredible flavours.
You could substitute the lemon with lime, chopped coriander and chopped pickled jalapeno chillis to make a fabulous dipping sauce for fish or prawns.
You could do what I did and add already-made spicy condiments to the aioli such as: Harissa paste, chilli sauce, chipotle hot sauce, Tabasco, chopped chipotle in adobo sauce and Sambal Bajak (an Indonesian spicy sauce). All of them were totally amazing.
Think of anchovies, capers, pesto, olives, fresh herbs and smoked chilli.
The applications seem endless to me. I tried a chilli-inspired one on a grilled mealie (corn on the cob) and it was delicious. A lime and green chilli aioli was superb with fish.
Use on salads, sandwiches, burgers, wraps or stirred through pasta. The world is your aioli.
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- Sam Linsell