Agliata (Saffron and Walnut Aioli)

Preparation info

  • Makes

    2¼ cups

    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

While doing research for a Renaissance menu for our Wednesday series of Italian menus, I came upon this sauce in La Cucina Padovana by Giuseppe Maffioli. It was part of a fifteenth-century menu described by the writer called Il Ruzzante. We love to serve this aioli as a sauce for the seafood fritto misto, but it is also wonderful with cooked artichokes, asparagus, cauliflower, hard-cooked eggs, and poached fish, shrimp, and chicken.


  • 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups mild olive oil
  • ½ cup walnuts, toasted, finely ground
  • 1 piece (2 inches) fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 to 1½ tablespoons saffron infusion (see Note)
  • tablespoons finely pureed garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


    Process the egg yolks in a blender or food processor until blended. Add the lemon juice (as in other aioli) and blend. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil. The sauce should be thick and emulsified. Stir in the remaining ingredients.