Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Real Aioli for Real

I don’t usually like to put words like “real” or “classic” in front of recipe names, since who the hell really knows, but in the case this aioli, I’m feeling pretty confident. In its purest form, this amazing sauce is nothing more than olive oil emulsified into freshly crushed garlic, seasoned simply with salt and lemon.

It arguably the greatest cold sauce of all time. Speaking of cold, the health benefits of regular aioli consumption are legendary. There’s not much not to like here, unless you don’t like garlic, then there’s plenty. This is pure, fiery, intense garlic flavor like you may have never tasted. It’s also a clever trick to get you to buy a wooden, or marble mortar and pestle.

Sure, if you don’t have one you can smash the garlic against the cutting board, with the flat of a large knife, and sort of do the same thing, but you don’t get the extra pulverization when emulsifying the oil.  And it’s all about the pulverization.  That’s what releases all those volatile compounds in the garlic, producing aioli’s signature flavor. I really hope you give this a try soon.  Enjoy!


Ingredients for about  2/3 cup Real Aioli:
4 large FRESH garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or other course grain salt
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly sqeezed lemon juice or vinegar, or to taste
1/2 cup *light flavored extra virgin olive oil
1 or 2 teaspoons of water to adjust texture 

- Note: This is best eaten fresh, but should be okay for about 24 hours

* Since this sauce has such a sharp, hot flavor from the garlic, you don’t want to use a really strongly flavored olive oil. We don’t want anything too peppery and bitter, which will clash with the garlic. Use something on the mild side, or cut with a neutral vegetable oil.

22 comments:

Jose Pastor said...

Hi Chef John!

A quick question for you. Here in Aus(-tralia, not -tria) our home lime tree has had a massive crop. Would lime juice be suitable here, and would this change the flavour much at all?

Thanks!

Gaylard Bauhaus said...

If I use a super fancy extra virgin olive oil, do I have to worry about it becoming bitter while I mix it in the mortar? Or does the emulsion process somehow prevent the typical over-agitated olive oil flavor from happening?

GVR UA said...

Simple and promising, thanks for sharing! :)
Fresh garlic doesn't store too well, even in a refrigerator. Any suggestions on how long I can keep this sauce in a fridge?

Madeline said...

Chef Jon,
My questions is unrelated to the Aioli, though that sounds amazing.
I am desperately searching for a recipe that I believe could have been removed from your site (It has disappeared).
It was like a chicken and rice casserole. I remember it had rice, heavy cream, thyme, bone-in chicken breast...
AM I crazy or was this at one time your recipe?

Madeline said...

Chef Jon,
I am desperately searching for a recipe that I am sure you once had on your blog. I feel like it has disappeared. It was for a chicken and rice casserole, with chicken, rice, thyme, mushrooms, heavy cream, bone-in chicken thigh... do you have any idea where this could have gone to?
Sorry that this is unrelated to the Aioli, that looks awesome.
Thank you!

Steve O. said...

mmmm...garlic!! I love this sauce! Question: did the freakishly small wooden spoon come with the wood mortar and pestle?

Alex Weber said...

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes

Min Yoon said...

Hi Chef John,

Thank you for the recipe. How long can you store this in the fridge? or is it possible to freeze it? Thank you!

Stacy said...

How long can it be stored for and what is the best way?

Unknown said...

I don't get it, I've been trying to make thoom for years. It always ends up as a milk shake consistency... the oil doesn't separate but it's not airy like yours is chef John... what am I doing wrong?

BexC said...

Hope means there is a bouillabaisse recipe to accompany this aioli recipe?!

Unknown said...

Hey Chef John,
Whats the brand of the wooden mortar and pestle your using?

Thank you!

Steven Kouris said...

Mash some peeled, boiled potatoes in with that aioli blend and you'll have Greek skordalia sauce. Great on boiled fish.

Joe Eoj said...

Pretty much been keeping the olive oil to my Greek Salads theses days and using Avocado oil for pretty much everything else.

I'll give this a try with both those oils.

...and as always Thanks.

schneida said...

We tried this today and it looked really really promising at first. We finished adding all the oil and it looked exactly like in your video. But after like 5 minutes the oil and the garlic completely seperated and we are now left with garlic infused oil :-(

We used lime but everything else exactly the same...

What did we do wrong?

Peter said...

Would this work on top of bread/toast to make garlic bread?

Ben said...

I'm a big fan of the mortar and pestle. And I'm a big fan of garlic immulsion sauce/paste (whatever it's named). But I gotta be honest, this recipe works so much better in a blender or food processor than the old fashioned way. Faster, less work, better texture, holds its texture longer and can be done in bigger batches. Cuz you can never have enough of this stuff on hand! And to those asking, it can last weeks in the fridge.

Ben said...

Peter, as a spread on bread it's amazing. For baked garlic bread though fresh garlic will work much better from a flavor and texture stand point and be less greasy.

ozzzzzz said...

Made this earlier to serve with steamed artichokes. I even picked up an olive wood mortar and pestle just for the job!

My first attempt failed as the mixture separated on me when I was about 2/3 of the way through the oil. The second attempt worked (I drizzled more slowly and I think this made the difference). I regret to say, however, that the flavour was just so intense that I don't think anyone had more than one taste with the artichokes. I may have done something wrong, but it tasted like I was just eating a clove of raw garlic. I expected it to be garlicky and intense (which I love) but this was on another level. A five course meal later and now having brushed my teeth, it's still all I can taste! Maybe I accidentally used bad olive oil? Maybe I somehow didn't use enough oil?

I'd love to make it again - it was really fun to do and makes for a cool little dish of sauce to serve your guests. I just need to figure out 1) if what I made tasted as it should and 2) if not, what I did wrong. What do you think, Chef john? Am I just an aioli noob?

xD said...

Hi Chef, can you tell why my garlic just turned black/gray =(

Tom Rauchenwald said...

We tried two times, and it separated two times (both times towards the end). I guess next time I'll cheat and add a bit of egg yolk.

Hamletmander said...

I'm wondering if you can think up any ideas (presentational or otherwise) for a savory main dish on Halloween.
Like a steak or chicken or pasta or something.

I guess that's not very specific though...