Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jul 22, 2008 06:19 PM


Tomorrow or the next day I intend to try to make aioli from scratch. Any tips or tricks to make it a success? Favorite recipes? I did buy a mortar and pestle to crush the garlic with.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Egg yolk at room me makes a huge difference....also take your time even if it feels like your arm is going to fall off! If you rush it it will break...if it does a little dijon mustard will help pull it back together.

    1. Aioli has it's share of difficulties. Personally, I simply "doctor" commercial mayonnaise. Take a look at the list "tips and warnings" about half way down this page. I think it will give you about all the information you'll need to be successful:

      Oh, the hint about eggs at room temperature - that'd get my endorsement. Only because cold eggs rarely form up well in any recipe.

      1 Reply
      1. re: todao

        How do you do your "doctoring?"

      2. but after mixing - a bit of sitting in the fridge helps it thicken and the flavors meld.

        1. I'm going to disagree completely with the others here. Aïoli is not mayonnaise and it really loses that pure garlic-and-oil flavor that gives it its name if you add eggs.

          My advice is to concentrate first on getting a good, smooth puree from the garlic and salt. Then add a little less than an equal volume of room-temperature boiled potato. You could also go with soaked/squeezed stale bread crumb. Get that into a smooth paste and then start slowly working in the oil. Oh, and have a glass of wine nearby when you're making it, it really helps (the cook).

          5 Replies
          1. re: tmso

            Your recipe sounds great, but not sure where you are coming from that "aioli is not mayonnaise." Julia Child's recipe for "sauce aioli" includes an egg yolk, as have most every other French or Spanish recipe for aioli that I've seen. It's basically the process of incorporating oil into the garlic/salt/egg mixture that makes it both aioli and a variety of mayonnaise.

            I know there are variations that are made without egg, i.e. the potato/breadcrumb recipe you posted, but both are authentic, as far as I can tell.

            1. re: DanaB

              there are lots of variations. i prefer the egg yolk one. as posted, make sure the garlic is smoothly pureed before starting; make sure the egg yolks is at room temperature. Make sure you add the oil as slowly as possible at first. This cannot be overestimated: drip by drip (at this point, if you have any sense, you will have switched to a whisk from the heavy pestle!). Once you have achieved a bit of a mayonnaise type texture, then you can begin to add the oil a little faster ... dribble, then thin stream. DO NOT rush the process. If you break the aioli, the best thing to do is give up on handmade, dump the whole thing in a blender with another fresh egg yolk and finish as you would for a blender mayo. it won't have quite the luscious texture, but it'll take about 20 seconds and is just about fool-proof.

              ALSO: i find that using a combination of olive oil and canola oil gives the best flavor. using olive oil alone gives you that really harsh olive oil flavor. probably 2/3 olive oil to 1/3 canola smooths that out a bit.

              1. re: FED

                Hmm...I'd never use anything but good-quality olive oil in mine.
                Maybe yours is too strong or too young, or has oxidized a bit.

                1. re: maria lorraine

                  i know a bit about olive oil. my preference is based on the fact that provencal oils--which can be hard to find where i live--are much more delicate and buttery than the more assertive italian and greek oils. but tastes vary, so ...

              2. re: DanaB

                Traditional provençal aïoli is made from garlic and olive oil. This is how I was taught how to make it (with the possible addition of bread, to make the emulsion easier) when I asked to help make the Friday-night aïoli garni in a provençal household. It’s also how you find it described in 19th century provençal cookbooks.

                Contemporary French recipes often call for the addition of egg. This makes for a product that is somewhat mayonnaise-like, but if you look at the recipes and the results they are *not* simply mayonnaise with some garlic added. A quick check of some contemporary French recipes gives 5-7 cloves of garlic, one egg yolk, and 25-35 cl (1-1.5 US Cups) of olive oil, with some calling for double the garlic and oil, but still a single egg yolk. The egg is there playing the same role as bread or potato in the traditional recipes: it helps make it easy to get the olive oil and garlic to go into emulsion. But if you use a significant quantity of eggs, cut back on the garlic, or use vegetable oil, you’re going to have a sauce that has less the consistency and flavor of garlic-olive oil emulsion, and more like the egg-dominated flavor of mayonnaise.

            2. Here's a recipe I've used, if you want to go the "egg yolk" (i.e., easier) route:

              2 egg yolks
              2 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
              salt & pepper
              1.5 cups olive oil
              juice of one lemon

              Paraphrased from Roast Chicken and Other Stories:

              Have all ingredients at room temp. He says that traditionally, it's made in a mortar and pestle, but you can use a whisk and bowl, or if you "are not in the mood to be energetic (or are of a lazy persuasion)" you can use an electric mixer.

              Beat the yolks, garlic and a little salt, until thick. Add the olive oil in a thin stream, beating the entire time. Add a little lemon juice (but - and this is my note - make SURE you have an emulsion before you do that), then more oil. Keep beating and alternating juice/oil, until thick. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.

              And, if you mess up, start again with one egg yolk (make sure you have an extra egg at room temp, just in case) and then very carefully start beating in, drops at first, the broken aioli.

              Good luck.