Aioli with lemon and garlic is like garlic mayonnaise and is an emulsion of egg yolk and oil. This cold garlic sauce is good with cold foods such as boiled eggs, poached fish, raw, roasted, or steamed veggies, or hot foods such as my Greek lamb sliders. It can be served as a dip, a sauce, or a garnish on salads or with steamed or boiled seafood. Steamed chilled lobster with aioli is to die for!
Aioli is served throughout the Mediterranean area. It is particularly popular in the cooking of Provence in southern France and in the Catalonia area of Spain. The purist version of aioli is simply olive oil and mashed garlic. I prefer the egg yolk emulsion sauce or the aioli with lemon and garlic. Mustard and lemon, because they are both acids, help to bind and balance the sauce. You can choose to make it by hand with a whisk or in a food processor or a blender. If you have ever made homemade mayonnaise it is not any different.
First, it is important to have all of the ingredients at room temperature. Then combine the eggs well with mustard or lemon juice. Slowly add the olive oil by drizzling it in through the feed tube. Et voila, you made aioli! Chill the aioli until ready to serve. It will keep in the refrigerator for a few days and up to a week.
There are many other versions of aioli that change with the simple addition of a few ingredients. If you add tomato to the sauce it is known as, Andalouse. Gribiche is mayo with hard-cooked eggs, chopped pickles, capers, shallots, and tarragon. Capers, parsley, basil, and anchovies in mayo are known as remoulade sauce. This is fun, isn’t it!
Once you perfect the basic aioli, enjoy exploring these other cold egg emulsion sauces.