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Preparation info

  • Makes about

    1½ cups

    • Difficulty


Appears in

A World in My Kitchen

A World in My Kitchen

By Peter Gordon

Published 2003

  • About

In Its most basic form this is a garlic mayonnaise. It is great used in the same way you would use plain mayonnaise. I always make mine with saffron as it adds an earthy flavour. It is important to make aïoli with light oil not extra virgin olive oil as this will become bitter. It will keep in the fridge for seven days if kept covered. You can make this using a mortar and pestle, a whisk and round-bottomed bowl, or a small food processor.


  • 10 saffron threads
  • 2 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large egg plus 1 extra yolk
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • ½ tablespoon English mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) salad or light olive oil
  • 1 dessertspoon hot water


Soak saffron in lemon juice for 15 minutes, then put mixture in a small food processor with egg and yolk, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Purée for 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl half-way through. Slowly drizzle oil in while the motor is running. When you have added half the oil, turn the machine off and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then continue to add the remaining oil. Lastly, add hot water (this helps stabilise it).