We wish we could tell you that we have an aioli technique that works 100% of the time, definitively, without fail or stress or sweat. We know that there are lots of people in the world, in professional kitchens and romantically crumbling old French farmhouse kitchens, who make aioli with absolute ease and grace, be it with blender or mortar. When we figure out their secrets, we’ll update this post.
Until then, we’re giving you the best we’ve got with the following disclaimer: These techniques work for us most of the time. BUT, every so often, something goes mysteriously awry, the damn aioli just won’t bind, and we are left sweaty and frustrated, yelling, “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!” because we made aioli three days earlier and it turned out perfectly and now all we have is a liquid-y golden mess and a gazillion leftover egg whites. (Good news about those egg whites: you can use them to make this wholly delicious yogurt mousse!)
And just to clarify: We do consider mayonnaise to be a wholesome, even healthful thing when it’s made the right way — that is, with high-quality farm eggs and grapeseed, sunflower or olive oil. Plus, there are few things in the world that adorn vegetables in such a mighty fine way. Grilled beets, poached asparagus and snap peas, roasted potatoes and carrots…they’re all brilliant when dunked in aioli. So eating more vegetables and eating more aioli go hand in hand, you see?