The debate over favored mayonnaises can get heated and personal.  I prefer Duke’s to Hellman’s, though my absolute, hands-down best recommendation is homemade aioli.  This Provencal sauce is simple to make and has very few ingredients.  You will be whisking up a storm, though the silky and supple finished product will have you proudly exclaiming, “mais, oui” and feeling very gratified!

Many vendors at the farmers’ market sell fresh eggs.  Use them.  It will make a difference in the taste and color of your aioli.  Trust me.

I love to whisk up aioli, especially, in the spring.  I add a tablespoon of chopped dill when I am spooning it over grilled tuna or salmon cakes on a bed of spinach from the farmers’ market (last photo); tarragon over spring asparagus; chives and parsley when the aioli is used as a dip for an elegant platter of raw radishes, baby carrots, pea pods, and artisanal bread. 


1 large egg yolk
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
½ kosher salt
2 t water
¼ cup grape seed oil
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
pinch of cayenne pepper
fresh lemon juice
freshly ground pepper

The ingredients


Using the widest part of your chef’s knife, smash garlic clove with ¼ t of the salt, making a grainy paste.

Place egg yolk, garlic salt paste, and water in a small bowl.   Whisk, enthusiastically,  until ingredients are incorporated.

Whisking, somewhat vigorously, add grape seed oil, one teaspoon at a time, until the sauce is emulsified and begins to thicken.

Whisking, constantly, drizzle in the evoo. 

Stir in cayenne and add lemon juice, pepper and additional salt to taste.

The finished product.

Ooh, la la!  Merci!

Drizzled on plated salmon cakes.