This is a traditional southern French garlic mayonnaise at its best. Always makes me think of holidays. The other day I ate a generous dollop on some poached salmon with a large salad with nasturium flowers from the garden. Aioli is fantastic with poached or baked fish, cold meat or hard boiled eggs in a salad. If you like a more neutral-tasting mayo, you can use equal parts olive and a second cold-pressed (extra virgin) neutral tasting oil such as sunflower or rapeseed. Do not use refined (non cold-pressed) seed/nut oils as they are damaging to health. Aioli will keep for about 5 days in a glass jar in the coldest part of the fridge. The garlic helps preserve the raw eggs. It’s quicker to make aioli using an electric whisk than with the pestle and mortar. But don’t try to make it in a blender because it never thickens up for me using one!
For 4 servings:
3 cloves garlic1 organic egg yolk, at room temperature (this helps the mixture not to “split” or seperate)
150ml (approx) extra virgin olive oil (or half olive oil half raw cold-pressed sunflower or rape oil), also at room temperature
A pinch of Atlantic sea salt or Himalayan salt (optional)
You will need:
A pestle and mortar and/or an electric whisk
Pestle and mortar method:
- Peel the garlic, slice into slivers and pound to a paste with a pinch of salt, add the egg yolk, and mix in. Pounding the garlic gives a different (and in my opinion, subtler) flavourfrom just crushing it with a garlic crusher.
- You can now either continue making the aioli with the pestle and mortar or (for less work) transfer the garlic/yolk mix to a bowl and get out your electric hand whisk before starting to add the oil as follows:
- Beat in the oil, at first drop by drop, and then, as the mix begins to thicken and resemble mayonnaise, add more liberally but never in a heavy stream. It is ready when it looks thick and creamy. See below for instructions on what to do if it goes wrong.
Electric whisk method:
1. Crush the garlic (with a garlic crusher if you have one, otherwise crush with the back of a knife, using a pinch of salt to really grind up the garlic). Add to a bowl.
2. Add the egg yolk and whisk with an electric whisk for a minute.
3. Beat in the oil, at first drop by drop, and then, as the mix begins to thicken and resemble mayonnaise, add more liberally but never in a heavy stream. If you add it too quickly the mixture will split and never thicken. It is ready when it looks thick and creamy.
To rescue “split” aioli:
Get a fresh (room temperature) egg yolk and start beating it. While beating, VERY gradually and a drop at a time, start adding in the “split” mixture as if it were just oil. Very gradually incorporate the split mixture into the egg yolk, beating continuously, until you have a thick, creamy aioli.
Add the zest of an organic lemon and 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice to room-temperature aioli (if it’s not at room temperature, adding the lemon juice will make it split). Mix well. You could also add 2 tbsp chopped parsley too.
Dietary note: Cold-pressed raw oils are fantastic for your health! The raw oils from sunflower, rape and sesame are rich in polyunsaturated omega 6 oils, while extra virgin olive oil is high in monounsaturated oils and vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. These oils can help weight management, enhance skin health and also moisturise your skin from within. You will need to keep raw cold-pressed nut/seed oils in the fridge as they are fragile and easily go off, losing their health benefits. Refined or fried oils (all supermarket oils except extra virgin olive) disrupt hormone balance and contribute to weight gain and are ageing to the body. Studies have shown people lose weight when they ADD extra virgin olive oil to their diets. High quality oils make you feel fuller longer. Never cook with polyunsaturated oils, only use them raw and cold-pressed.