Allioli; Aioli…What’s in a name? An egg yolk!

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One of the guys I played golf with in Andorra was Spanish.  Yeah, I played with the guys.  What can I say, I've always been one of the guys.  I'm just not a girlie-girl, although I can tie a scarf with the best of them (I am French, after all…see previous post) and I am rather fond of shoes…..

Luis was a proper Spaniard and spoke proper Castillano: Barcelona is pronounced 'barthalona,  (soft 'th' like 'thin' not like 'there'); the city to the south is balenthia (Valencia); and the dark red beverage he drank with his breakfast of bread, olive oil, tomatoes and garlic was 'beeno tinto' (red wine).

And, like any good Spaniard he always ate his garlic, usually 2 big cloves, raw.  I tried to greet him, with the obligatory 2 kisses, before he had his breakfast. 

Spaniards, like most of the Mediterranean people, like garlic.  Before moving to Andorra I thought I used a lot of garlic….I was wrong.  Luis helped me see the error of my ways.  I was introduced to allioli.

Real allioli,  not the namby-pamby stuff you buy in jars.  Real allioli is not garlic mayonnaise.  It does not have lemon, vinegar or egg yolks.  Garlic, olive oil and a bit of sea salt; nothing more.

Real allioli is hot enough to bring tears to your eyes….tears of joy, maybe, but true tears nonetheless.

Real allioli is HOT, HOT, HOT; a little goes a long way.  Real allioli is not for the faint of heart

Allioli is Spanish, in particular Catalan.  The French aioli normally adds an egg yoke to the mix.  As I am 419819075_20c0cdcab1_o1_2submitting this to Heart of the Matter I'm making the Spanish version.
Lest you still think of this as mayonnaise, and not possibly heart healthy, let me assure you that one small teaspoon of this goes a long, long way to add an incredible flavor punch.   Oh, and make sure the people you are living with/dating/whatever eat some too!

The theme of Heart of the Matter this month is 'the grill'.  We cook almost everything on the grill for our 6 months of 'summer' cooking (only minimal relationship to the actual season) so I'm really looking forward to lots of new recipes.  Joanna of Joanna's Food will have the recap right after August 23. 

Grilled Potatoes with AllioliPotatoes

3 – 4 medium potatoes
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried thyme

Slice potatoes in half the long way, then in half again.  Then slice in half or thirds the short way.  Put remaining ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.  Add potatoes and toss, coating thoroughly.  Put them into an old metal pie plate or cake tin or foil barbecue container (or whatever) that you will never use for any purpose but the barbecue again (you should have one of these).  Cook on barbecue (grill) for 20 – 30 minutes or until done… you will need to stir them with a long-handled wooden spoon occasionally as they tend to develop 'hot spots' and can get a little crispy.  When done remove potatoes and place on paper towel briefly to remove the excess oil.

The potatoes are great on their own or toss with allioli.


4 large cloves of garlic
1/4 tsp sea, kosher or other coarse salt
2 – 3 tbs olive oil

You have to do this with a mortar and pestle.  The garlic has to be mashed.  A blender or food processor will not work.  Have I made this crystal clear?  If you do not use a mortar and pestle you will get a bland garlic mayonnaise.  The pounding pulverizes the cells, releasing allicin which gives it the sharp, hot flavor.
Smack the garlic once with side of a knife to start breaking it down then put it in the mortar along with the salt.  The texture of the salt helps break down the garlic.  Pound with the pestle until you get a paste.  Yes, this will take awhile.  Aiolipotatoes
(It took  10 – 15 minutes for me to make this.)  When you have a thick paste add the olive oil a few drops at a time and work into the garlic.  Once the drops are incorporated, add a few more.  Continue adding oil until it becomes difficult to incorporate then stop.  If you add too much the sauce will break.

Taste it.  In my mortar (shown in photo) I had about 2 1/2 tbs of allioli.  I added 1 tbs of light mayo to half of it and used it as a condiment for a grilled pork tenderloin.  The other half I tossed with the potatoes. 

I don't think the allioli will keep.  I made it about an hour before using and it was starting to break.  If you do have a bit leftover mix it with some mayo.  It will be the best garlic mayonnaise you ever had 😉

I brushed my teeth and tongue twice before bed.  The dogs left the room.  It was good!

Check out the  Heart of the Matter for the last 5 months worth of heart-healthy foods, and, don't forget  Joanna's Food on August 23.

Now get out your mortar and pestle, you know it's buried in there somewhere!

Note: I make these potatoes lots, adding Dijon mustard, Balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, whatever to the oil before adding the potatoes.  The real key is the old metal pan….

Comments 11

  1. Wow! I’m going to make this allioli right away! My mortar and pestle are always on the counter ready for action and you’ve provided the perfect action! 🙂

  2. Geeze Katie, are you teasing me, you know I’m into the garlic girl.
    I did so love your
    I brushed my teeth and tongue twice before bed. The dogs left the room. It was good!
    Well, duh, of course it’s garlic good.
    I’m so glad you did this. and especially glad you did it for heart of the matter!

  3. Barcelona is one on my favorite cities and I love the strong allioli! Your potatoes look marvellous and actually remind me of patatas bravas…one of my favorite potato dishes there 🙂

  4. I can’t tell you how pleased I am to see this post. I developed a serious love of allioli during our trip. With potatoes it is heaven! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  5. Christine, you won’t be sorry…just make sure you share with everyone within a 10 mile radius LOL
    Jenn, garlic is good!
    Tanna, This is garlic at its most assertive. I didn’t notice it the next day, although the neighbors kind of kept their distance…
    Joey, Love Barcelona, love the allioli and the patatas bravas… Now I’m farsick!
    Truffle, I think once you’ve tasted it, your hooked – unless you hate garlic 🙁
    Peter, this will do it!

  6. Katie I love playing golf with the guys too! I do tee off at the ladies tee which gets some of them riled if beaten.
    I love garlic too.
    You must be my kind of galfriend.

  7. Well Katie
    I love the thought of your Aioli…We are in winter as you know and the garlic is getting a bit old (green sprouts etc) I think to make such an intensive dish. Can’t wait for the new season’s garlic. I reckon it won’t be so hard on your dogs or ones friends.
    Your recipe has joined my notebook.

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