An aioli is a French dipping sauce, a garlicky mayonnaise, that works wonderfully well whether you’re dipping French fries, steamed artichoke leaves, or shrimp. It can be spread on sandwiches or used as a thick salad dressing. It’s also quite versatile, able to take on a wide variety of spices to create an array of global dips and spreads.
Here is my basic aioli recipe and quite a few global variations on the French theme.
Basic French Aioli
I use mayonnaise as my aioli base because it’s faster and easier than emulsifying the egg yolks with oil myself. Hellmann’s (a.k.a. Best Foods) is my favorite brand for this sauce because its flavor is good without being overwhelming.
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. crushed or minced garlic
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.
Yields: 1 cup of aioli
Now here comes the fun part. Once you have your basic aioli, you can add any number of ingredients to give it a different character altogether.
For a German twist, add 4 tsp. of Dijon mustard to the recipe.
For an Indian flavor, add 4 tsp. of your favorite curry powder.
If you like spice, add 2 tsp. of sriracha sauce for a Thai/Vietnamese kick or 2 tsp. of Frank’s Red Hot sauce for a New York Buffalo Wings dip.
If smooth, subtle flavors are more your thing, smash up one avocado for a Mexican/green goddess thick dressing or dip.
Really, the possibilities are endless.