This Garlic Basil Aioli recipe is such an amazing flavor boost to so many dishes. You can cheat and start with good-quality mayonnaise, and that’s perfectly fine, but I say make it really special and make it completely from scratch.
Mayonnaise is a simple emulsion of oil and egg yolk, plus a little acid (vinegar and lime juice) and a dash of salt.
For standard mayo, you’ll typically want to use a very neutral oil, such as canola or grape seed. This is always is best. But the traditional method of ailoi calls for extra-virgin olive oil (in place of the canola), and the addition of 1 teaspoon of pressed garlic (per 1 cup oil and 1 egg yolk). This is the way I love to make aioli. Mix in a little blanched and chopped basil and Dijon mustard, and you elevate the flavors even more.
Now, let’s make this Garlic Basil Aioli!
- 2 garlic cloves (enough to make 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic)
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon vinegar (I like Champagne vinegar, but distilled white works well, too)
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Mince the garlic, then sprinkle a pinch of salt over it. Smash the garlic with the side of a knife until a paste forms. Set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Blanch the basil for about 2 minutes. Remove and place in ice bath. Remove, squeeze out excess water, and roughly chop. Set aside.
- Place the egg yolk, pinch of salt, vinegar and dry mustard in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium-low for about 1 minute. (or use a hand emulsifier).
- Very slowly at first, on medium speed, pour a small stream of the oil into the mixture until the emulsification starts to form.
- Slowly add more and more of the oil, adding in batches, letting the emulsification to continue.
- Once all of the oil has been added and emulsified, turn the mixer off.
- Add the Dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic and basil and turn back onto to medium speed.
- Mix until fully incorporated. Thin with a little more lemon juice of too thick.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.