There is no condiment I love to eat in as many contexts or on as many things as I do aioli. I also love to eat anything that brings me wonderful memories, and
I have more wonderful aioli memories than I could possibly list. The summers I spent working in beautiful Nice with my wonderful mentor, Rosa Jackson, at her cooking school are some of my favorite aioli memories. Aioli is traditionally a Niçoise staple, but without the egg yolk. It has an intense hint of garlicky “cream” (as only raw garlic and olive oil are traditionally used) and adds such a wonderful bite to fresh seafood, stirred into a fish stew such as Bouillabaisse, used as a dip for crudités, or on a crusty piece of bread.
You can make aioli in a food processor or a blender, but I wanted to show you the hardest, yet simpler, way for those of you without a blender or a food processor or just want to go the old-school route. I prefer making it by hand, as it is incredibly satisfying. I’m a firm believer in the idea that less is more when it comes to kitchen equipment—the more you can do with less makes you a better cook. In Nice, we were very old-school and used a mortar and pestle to make the aioli—simply pound the garlic until it is a complete, homogenous paste and then add the oil, drip by drip, until it comes together.It’s a great alternative if you can’t have eggs. Feel free to give it a try, but whisking is a bit easier for egg users, because the egg yolk really aids in the emulsifying process. All you need is a medium-sized bowl, a whisk, and a very determined forearm.
- 2 egg yolks, room temperature
- 3/4 cup of olive oil (if using a garlic or other infused oil, omit the garlic below)
- 2 tsp lemon juice (or vinegar or dijon mustard) + 2 tsp Lakanto Baking Monkfruit Sweetener
- 1 or 2 cloves of fresh or roasted garlic, pressed or mashed into a uniform paste Salt
Any fresh herbs like basil, tarragon, cilantro. Saffron is a favorite to add in at the same time as the garlic. A dash or two of cayenne for some spice, or a dash of your favorite hot sauce.