I have some pretty strong feelings about condiments. As in, I generally do not accept them in my life. My one exception is that I like to put mayonnaise on my grilled cheese sandwich. But aside from that, I would prefer everything dry and plain and without any kind of colored goop.
So I’m not really sure where the idea to make some aioli came from. Surely not from my ketchup and mustard and mayonnaise hating self. But for some reason I had a hankering to make something to go on our panini, and something like this was the first thing that came to mind.
It took a couple of tries to get it right, the main reason being that I tried to make an extremely small batch the first time, because really, what would Gerrit and I do with a whole cup of aioli? But halving a batch of aioli was not the smartest idea because there wasn’t enough substance for the food processor to actually process, as in the blade just whirred above the garlic and egg, passing it all over. Moving it to the blender helped a bit, but my proportions weren’t quite right, so as delicious as it was, the substance of it was off.
I tried it again this past weekend when we had Gerrit’s brother and his fiancee over for dinner. They wanted some advice as they are starting to plan their wedding, which is really sweet. And honestly I put a lot of work into keeping my wedding planning organized, so I’m glad that someone else is going to benefit from those checklists and schedules that I spent hours on.
We made sandwiches on the panini press with chicken and cheese and some of this aioli. I’m the type of person who would just be fine eating plain chicken and cheese sandwiches for the entirety of my life. Really it’s how I always order my sandwiches in restaurants. But this aioli, spread lightly on the inside of the bread, added a nice buttery tang to each bite. I roasted the garlic before using it, because I love the sweetness the process gives the garlic. And blended together with the egg yolks and olive oil to create a creamy emulsified spread, it became something I’m sure you’ll love to spread on all kinds of sandwiches.
Roasted Garlic Aioli
adapted from several sources
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Wait Time: 5 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Makes about 1 cup
6-8 garlic cloves, not peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a small baking dish combine garlic cloves, olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper. Toss to make sure the garlic cloves are coated.
3. Cover the dish with tinfoil and bake until garlic cloves are tender and the peels are slightly translucent, about 30 minutes. Remove and uncover the dish, allowing the garlic cloves to cool for about five minutes, until you can handle them.
4. When the garlic cloves are cool enough to handle, peel them (or because it might be easier, squeeze the roasted cloves out of the peel).
5. In a blender, combine garlic cloves, egg yolks, lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper. Blend on medium speed until the mixture is smooth. Then, with the blender still running on medium-high speed, slowly add the olive oil several drops at a time. The mixture will emulsify, becoming thicker and light yellow.
6. Pour into a bowl and use to spread on sandwiches.*
*Do be aware that the eggs aren’t cooked in this. If this makes you uncomfortable, use it on toasted sandwiches, or, like we did, on panini.