Aioli from herb oils

Aioli, in French, or alioli in Spanish, is a garlic sauce, emulsion or mayonnaise made with olive oil. That’s all. While a strong olive oil can be too much, even nasty, in a mayonnaise for dressing salads, it is brilliant with garlic as a dip. The traditional sauces use raw garlic, but as I get older I seem to not want to smell like that too often any more, especially as it is also the smell of my work coming from my every pore at the end of the day. That said, I’ve become addicted to roasted garlic. This recipe can be made with any olive oil but I love these flavours together: rosemary, chilli, roasted garlic, fruity olive oil. Crying out for a potato, they are. Oh, I must point out that using a whole egg to make mayonnaise only works with a food processor. If you prefer to use the traditional method, use only the egg yolk.

Ingredients

  • 6-8 cloves garlic
  • a little olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 250 mls rosemary-chilli oil
  • salt and pepper
  • a little lemon juice if you like

Method

SNIP THE ROOT END OFF each of the garlic cloves but leave the skins on. Toss the cloves in olive oil and roast them in the oven at about 320-350°F (Gas Mark 3-4) until they are soft. The garlic flesh will squeeze out easily at the snipped end. Put the garlic in a food processor with the egg and blend them for a minute. Then, still blending, slowly pour in the rosemary oil, which should emulsify with the egg to give you a thick mayonnaise. Season it and add a little lemon juice if you feel the need. If the result is too thin, simply add more oil until you get what you want. If, by any chance, the thing doesn’t emulsify at all and you have a separated mess, put the mess in a jug, clean the machine thoroughly, beat another egg in it for a minute and use the mess as an oil, pouring it in slowly and steadily until, this time, you get what you want.