The base recipe is key. Adding things is up to the chef! Takes about 15 minutes.
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or chopped
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- black or white pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp fresh (or 1/2+ tbsp dried) herbs (thyme, parsley, etc.)
- 1/2 tsp dijon or mustard powder
- dash or so cayenne pepper
- Mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt using a mortar and pestle.
- Whisk together yolk, lemon juice, and optional mustard in a bowl.
- Add oil, a few drops at a time, to yolk mixture, whisking constantly, until all oil is incorporated and mixture is emulsified. (If mixture separates, stop adding oil and continue whisking until mixture comes together, then resume adding oil.)
To thin a thick aioli, whisk in a drop or two of water until thoroughly incorporated.
You can add just about anything to this and it will be good.
For traditional aioli, use a lot more garlic (2x? more??), mashed to a fine paste using the salt for traction. For Provencal style, mash the egg yolk into the garlic. Oil must be introduced incredibly slowly to make this version. You can even do it in the mortar. Rotating the pestle slowly and methodically yields the best results.