We’ve all heard of aioli’s. They are all over current restaurant menus – but do you really know what it is? An aioli is a wonderful creation from France, originating in Provence where it was used in a variety of ways including as a sauce for seafood. A classic French aioli, in its basic form, is simply garlic, sea salt, pepper, egg yolk, lemon juice and olive oil. First the garlic is crushed with a mortar and pestle and then emulsified with the egg yolk. After that salt, pepper and lemon juice are added and lastly olive oil is whisked in until you wind up with this delicious, creamy goodness that you will want to dip, smear and slather into and onto anything you can find.
As you may or may not have known or noticed, the base ingredients are quite similar to good old mayonnaise. Now traditional mayonnaise doesn’t pack the flavor that an aioli can, and by making your own you can control the flavor as well as the consistency; thicker for a spread and thinner for a dip or sauce. Here is a quick and easy way to wow your friends and family in just a few minutes…
How to make spicy lemon aioli
The beauty of this recipe is that it takes just a few minutes. Gather up all of the ingredients and you are halfway there. First, put in a medium-sized mixing bowl, the mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, sea salt and pepper.
Next add in the olive oil – but keep it nearby in case you want a thinner consistency.
Now just take a small spatula or a whisk and stir, stir, stir. At first it will look a little lumpy (that’s the lemon juice arguing with the mayonnaise) but before you know it, it will look like this…
That’s it. Put it all in a small bowl, and top it with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and a little lemon zest and voila! You now have a scrumptious aioli to use for a dip or for a sandwich spread – now how easy was that?
- ⅓ C mayonnaise
- juice and zest from ½ lemon (reserve a sprinkle of zest)
- ½-1 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust according to taste)
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ fresh ground black pepper
- 2 Tbs olive oil (plus more if desired)
- Add all of the ingredients except the olive oil into a medium sized mixing bowl
- Begin stirring with either a spatula or whisk and add in olive oil one tablespoon at a time
- Once everything is well blended, test for desired consistency - add more olive oil as you see fit
- When completely blended, top with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and lemon zest
- Will keep in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.