We use a combination of pure and extra-virgin olive oil to make aïoli. The extra-virgin oil adds flavor, but can be overpowering by itself—a really strong oil gives an intensely olivaceous and sometimes very peppery flavor, which some aïoli eaters prefer, however. In the same way, depending on the size and strength of the garlic, three cloves may be too many—or not enough. Use your taste and preference to judge.
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- ¾ cup pure olive oil
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Mash the garlic to a smooth paste in a mortar with a pinch of salt. Take out 1/3 of the paste and set aside. To the rest of the garlic add 1 teaspoon water, ¼ teaspoon salt, and the egg yolk, stirring well. Combine the two types of olive oil. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, a few drops at a time. As the mixture begins to thicken, begin adding the oil in a slow, steady stream. If the aïoli becomes too thick, thin it with a bit of water and continue. After all the oil has been mixed in, taste for salt and garlic and adjust accordingly. Refrigerate until needed. Aïoli should be used the day it is made, preferably within a few hours—the fresh garlic flavor dissipates and becomes unpleasant.