Classic Olive Oil Aioli
By Michele Di Pietro
“Ingredients matter. That’s why I choose robust and rich Olio Piro extra-virgin olive oil when creating the most flavorful and nutritious recipes. Its savoriness and boldness complements so many dishes and its high-antioxidant level is just an added bonus to its incredible taste!”
- Michele Di Pietro
Nothing beats a homemade aioli. And, when it comes together with robust and hearty Olio Piro extra-virgin olive oil, the tasting experience gets elevated to a whole other level!
In case you do not know what aioli is, it is basically a garlic-infused mayonnaise that is popular in the cuisines of the Mediterranean. When made from scratch it is leaps and bounds above a store-bought mayo!
Pair this creamy sauce with your favorite crudités, grilled or poached shrimp, steamed asparagus, hard-boiled eggs, roasted or fried potatoes and more! Aioli is such a great condiment to have on hand for all sorts of sandwiches, like burgers, BLTs, etc. The pairing opportunities are endless.
Classic Olive Oil Aioli
Makes about 1¼ cup
1 large egg, at room temperature
1½-2 tablespoons finely chopped or minced garlic or garlic paste (See NOTE below.)
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2/3 cup Olio Piro extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup neutral oil, such as avocado oil
1-1½ teaspoons flaky salt or to taste
Pinch ground white or black pepper
Place the egg, garlic, lemon juice and Dijon mustard in a food processor and puree.
While the processor is running, SLOWLY add the oil to the mixture, one to two drops at a time, until the aioli is thick and the oil is incorporated. (The small insert in the food processor cover should have a tiny pinhole in the center that is perfect for this. Pour the oil into the lid and then let it drip into the mixture gradually.) Once the aioli emulsifies and starts to thicken, you can add the oil in a slightly quicker thin stream, instead of drop by drop. After all the oil has been added, season with salt and pepper. You can also add an extra splash at lemon juice at this point, if desired. Note that homemade aioli will not be as thick as store-bought mayonnaise.
The aioli can also be made in a tall glass using a hand blender, but you may find that you do not have enough hands if you are by yourself to position and run the hand blender, hold the cup and also dribble in the oil.
Place the aioli in an airtight container once it is finished and refrigerate. It will hold in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Bon Appétit!
Although this recipe has only a few simple ingredients, the technique is important and makes all the difference in its success. Here are a few tips:
- First, make sure all ingredients are at room temperature and that the egg is fresh. This is really important! If you have cold eggs and not time to leave them out on the counter to come to room temperature, place them into a bowl of warm water for five minutes.
- The more finely-minced the garlic is, the better it will incorporate into the aioli. Smash the fresh garlic into a paste for the best result. A microplane zester can also be used to grate the garlic.
- The amount of garlic to use is up to you. The recipe as written results in a very bold tasting aioli, so free to dial it down by reducing the amount of raw garlic. Alternatively, roasted or confit garlic can absolutely be substituted for raw garlic for a softer, overall flavor.
- Likewise, since the Piro olive oil’s flavor is so robust, I divided the full amount of oil in the recipe (1 cup) between 2/3 cup Piro and 1/3 cup of a more neutral oil, such avocado oil. You can adjust these proportions as well, if desired.
- Any salt can be used. If fine salt is used, reduce the amount in the recipe, or add it gradually and then adjust the total amount to your taste.
Do you know the difference between mayonnaise and aioli? Read our blog article!
all photography: Michele Di Pietro
Michele Di Pietro is a classically-trained chef, culinary consultant, food writer, cookbook author, blogger, founder of It’s All About The Food LLC and creator of Mangia With Michele, the expression of her lifelong passion for Italian ingredients, foods, recipes, culture, and traditions. She released her first cookbook in 2020, called SOUPified: Soups Inspired by Your Favorite Dishes, a whimsical and fun collection of soup recipes that were inspired by favorites like Eggplant Parm, Chicken Marsala and Lasagne.
Find her at Mangiawithmichele.com and follow her at @mangiawithmichele on social channels.