While you can certainly but aioli at gourmet markets (and, I might add, for a pretty penny), I wouldn’t recommend it. Like it’s close relative mayonnaise it’s really something that’s meant to be eaten fresh.
And why, you ask, would you want to make aioli? To put on absolutely everything! Spread it on sandwiches, drizzle it on poached eggs, fish, burgers, salads or thicken it and dip fries or whatever else you fancy in it.
Luckily, making aioli, a mayonnaise-like sauce made with lemon, garlic and olive oil often associated with French or Spanish foods, is pretty damn easy. And better yet, it doesn’t require a food processor, or any other fancy equipment. In fact, while you technically COULD make this in a blender or food processor, I like it much better without it.
My version here is a chipotle aioli, which I fancy quite a bit. Making this aioli plain is quite simple, however, just ditch the peppers and adobo!
Yields about 1/2 a cup
2 medium-sized garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg yolk at room temperature
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil (note, NOT extra virgin. Though, if that’s all you have, it will do)
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce with 1 tablespoon sauce
3 tablespoons neutral oil like canola, grapeseed or vegetable oil
A pinch of salt
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
NOTE: I really recommend doing this by hand. If, however, you must use a food processor or blender (which I certainly do 50 percent of the time), add the garlic, mustard (if using) and salt and pulse for a few seconds, then add the lemon juice, mustard and yolk until fully combined. Then VERY SLOWLY, with the machine running, add the oil until fully emulsified. Last add the peppers. SLOW is the key here, you do not want to over mix.
1) Using either a morter and pestle or the back end of a heavy knife, mash the garlic until it’s almost paste like. I’ve also put the garlic under plastic wrap and hammered it, which works perfectly too. When it’s almost fully mashed, add in a pinch or two of salt.
2) Whisk together the yolk, mustard (if using) and lemon juice. Add to the garlic and combine.
3) Combine both oils and, while constantly whisking, add a few drops at a time to the yolk-garlic mix until all the oil is fully emulsified. If it’s too thick, add a drop or two of warm water.
4) Add in the garlic paste, pepper and adobo, whisking until fully combined. Season with salt to taste.
5) Chill and cover. Eat with everything.