How to make aioli

Do you want to know an easy way to make aioli? We'll give you a step-by-step guide to preparing this tasty garlic and oil sauce to give a special touch to your recipes.

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11 February 2020

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Aioli is a typical sauce used in Mediterranean cuisine, made from an emulsion of olive oil and garlic. Although aioli has spread throughout Spain, it's most popular in the Balearic Islands, Catalonia, the Valencian Community, Murcia, Andalusia and Aragon. In each of these regions it has a different name: allioli, ajolio, ajoaceite or ajiaceite, but its essence and ingredients are always the same: garlic and oil.

Its origin seems to date back to the time of the Romans, who spread it throughout Italy and Sicily. The Andalusians, in turn, brought it to the north, where its recipe still exists today, extending to Provence and the Balearic Islands. In its original version, it consisted of mashed garlic and olive oil bound to form a cream.

Aioli is used as a condiment in some dishes, especially in preparations based on fish or seafood, usually served separately. Throughout the coast of Valencia and Alicante, and also in Murcia, it's very common for seafood rice, brown rice, caldero and even fideuá to be served with a little aioli. It's also a common accompaniment in some sandwiches like the popular calamari sandwich, and in many places, it's eaten with bread before a meal. In some communities - like Aragon - it's cooked in the oven over cod, and in Catalonia it's popular in dishes like sausages with white beans or grilled rabbit.

How is homemade aioli made?

Aioli is made with garlic and olive oil. The traditional recipe uses just these two ingredients, plus a dash of salt, and is made by hand with a mortar. However, because this requires a lot of patience and it isn't easy to bind the sauce, there is a version which includes egg. This means that the preparation time is a lot shorter and the aioli doesn't separate.

Traditional aioli recipe

Ingredients: three cloves of garlic, olive oil and salt.

Peel the garlic and place it in the mortar with a little salt.  Crush it into a paste. Pour the oil into it very slowly, in small amounts, and keep stirring in the same direction. When you notice that the mixture has the consistency of mayonnaise, the aioli is ready.


How to make aioli with a blender

Ingredients
: two cloves of garlic, one egg, olive or sunflower oil and salt. 

Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend until it binds together. If you make it with olive oil, the flavour will be much more intense, so it's best to use a mild variety. The egg changes the texture of the sauce, resulting in an aioli which is creamier than if it's made by hand with a mortar. A lot of recipes add a splash of lemon.


What to do if the aioli separates?

If the sauce fights back and separates, there’s a simple trick you can use to avoid having to throw it away. Simply add another egg to a clean container and add spoonfuls of the separated aioli little by little while beating it until it emulsifies again.