What can’t you put aioli on, really? Sandwiches, fries (which are subsequently elevated to “frites”), burgers, fried chicken, fried shrimp, fried anything really. It’s a versatile but simple condiment, essentially just a kicked-up, garlickified mayo that got itself a bougier name.
We used aioli on a few sandwiches at the deli where I worked in college, though I find it most successful on turkey-and-baguette. After falling in love with the condiment there, I now swipe it on every burger I grill and every BLT I construct. If I serve it to friends, they always want to know about my “special sauce,” which has a uniquely spreadable and dippable consistency less firm than that of mayo.
The secret: Sour cream. A ratio of equal parts sour cream and mayo plus a squeeze of lime juice lends it that spreadability, as well as a pleasant tang that helps foil mayo’s fatty richness. But the best part of this aioli recipe is how damn easy it is. I was puzzled to find that most recipes for aioli involve making your own mayo, requiring a blender and eggs and emulsions and the unlikely chance that I have the right type of vinegar. My lazier, though no less delicious, version starts with a jarred mayo and just zhushes it up with a little acid (lime juice) and tang (sour cream). Seriously, spread aioli on everything this summer.
Makes one cup
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3 cloves of garlic*, minced or (ideally) microplaned
- 1 Tbsp. lime juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
Add lime juice to microplaned garlic and let sit for a few minutes (this helps soften the garlic’s harsh bite). Then add to mayo and sour cream, whisk together, and season with salt and pepper to taste. If you really want flavors to develop, let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then slather on everything.
* Quality garlic really matters here. If a bulb is sprouted, it’ll make the final sauce too bitter.