How to make your own Aioli (Provençal Garlic Mayonnaise) aka “Mayo”.
This is a New York Times-inspired recipe for a kitchen staple: Mayonnaise. Or, if you want to be all fancy-pants, Garlic Aioli: Provençal Garlic Mayonnaise. Once you’ve had homemade, you’ll never go back. Promise.
We needed some mayo the other night to make some Tyrant Farms Thai Red Curry Slaw using the cabbage, broccoli, and kohlrabi trimmings from the garden — and since we try not to keep pre-processed food in the house, we had nothing. With about 3-4lbs of succulent leafy greens needing a home, we had no choice but to whip up some garlic mayonnaise. This is a ridiculously simple recipe, but it is time consuming. The trick to good mayo (or Aioli, if you prefer to leave out the vinegar and use it as a sauce) is making sure that the oil emulsifies with the egg… Oil + Egg emulsified together = yum. Oil + Egg not emulsified together = Oil + Egg semi-mixed floating together in a bowl with some bits of garlic. Not yum.
- 4-8 Cloves of Garlic
- 2 local Duck or Chicken Eggs (or 4 Egg Yolks) – 100% yolks will yield a creamier, richer sauce
- 1C. Safflower or Grapeseed Oil
- 1C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil *if you use duck eggs, you may need a bit more oil since duck eggs tend to be larger than chicken eggs
- Dash of Paprika
- Dash of Cayenne
- Pinch of Dried Mustard
- Salt to taste
- 2-4Tbsp Vinegar or Lemon Juice (We used apple cider vinegar most recently, but have tried it with white, champagne, and rice wine vinegars. They all work well)
- Chop up your garlic and put it in a mortar and pestle. Smash it until it’s a creamy paste. A pinch of salt sometimes aids the process. The goal is to get the flavor infused throughout the Mayonnaise (sliced garlic chunks or a regular garlic smasher won’t accomplish this nearly as well as a creamy paste).
- Once you’re done, if you have a large enough mortar & pestle, add your egg yolks (or whole eggs) to the garlic and mix with the pestle until smooth. If you don’t have one, transfer the garlic to a glass bowl and add your egg yolks, mixing together until smooth.
- This next step is where the time-consuming part begins… but it’s SO IMPORTANT that you do it right, or you’ll end up with egg + oil, not mayo. If you used a mortar & pestle in step 2, you’ll probably need to transfer everything to a bigger glass bowl before you begin. Drop-by-drop, whisk the 1C Safflower or Grapeseed oil into your egg and garlic mixture. It’s best to start with the lighter oils because they emulsify better than a heavier oil like olive oil. An immersion blender with a whisk attachment will help speed up the process. Lisa, my fabulous sister gave us one last year for my birthday and we use it all the time. Otherwise, you can use good ole manual labor and a whisk. About ½C in, you’ll start to notice the oil emulsifying with the egg and the mixture will start to stiffen. It’s very rewarding! Keep going, slowly, drop-by-drop until it’s done. This recipe is an exercise in patience.
- Once you’ve added in the first cup of oil, slowly begin whisking in the additional 1C. of Olive Oil. You don’t have a to go drop-by-drop as you did with the first cup, but I do recommend keeping it to a slow, steady stream. By the time you’re done you should have a nice, stiff, creamy sauce.
- At this point, you’ve got the base for your Aioli and your Mayo. The main difference between the two is the addition of Vinegar. If your goal is to have a Garlic Aioli, simply mix in your salt, other spices and some lemon juice – refrigerate, and serve.
- If you’re trying to make Garlic Mayonnaise, slowly add in a small amount of Vinegar to your base, stir, and taste. Adjust accordingly. Remember: you can always add more, but you can’t take away. Patience, grasshopper, patience. Once you have the proper amount of tang, add in any additional desired spices and/or lemon juice, refrigerate, and use as needed.
You now have yummy mayo or aioli that you can use as a dipping sauce or as an ingredient in tons of great recipes. Enjoy!
As always, Know It or Grow It!
Aaron & Susan