Aioli (garlic mayonnaise) picks up color and heat from crushed Calabrian chiles—think of it as southern Italy’s version of Sriracha mayo, useful in all the same ways: as a dip, a dressing, and most deliciously, as a spread for porchetta sandwiches.
What to buy: You’ll need a jar of Crushed Hot Chili Peppers under the Tutto Calabria label, imported from Italy. If you can’t find the crushed ones, you can use the whole chiles—just remove the stems and blitz with a little olive oil in a food processor until you have a chunky purée.
- Yield: About 2 1/2 cups
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 15 mins
- Active: 15 mins
- 3 large egg yolks
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 cups canola oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 medium garlic clove, finely minced or microplaned
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 3 tablespoons puréed Calabrian hot chile peppers
- Add the yolks to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process on high until the egg yolks thicken, about 2 minutes. Stop the motor, add a few drops of lemon juice, and process again until the yolks thicken even more, about 2 minutes.
- With the motor running, start adding the oil, slowly, in a thin stream. As the aioli thickens, add a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar. Resume adding the oil, pausing now and then to add a bit of lemon juice and vinegar. Be careful not to add the oil too fast—if you rush it, the aioli will “break” and have a curdled, oily look.
- Turn off the motor and add the garlic and a pinch of salt (the Calabrian chiles that you’ll add later are lightly salted, so be careful with this first addition of salt). Taste for acid, and add more lemon juice or vinegar as needed. Add the chile purée and turn on the processor to incorporate it, then turn it off again and taste for salt, adding more if necessary.
- Your finished aioli should be stiff, but not too thick. If you dip your finger in and it comes out clean, it’s too thick. Thin with a little vinegar, if a bit more acidity is needed, or a few drops of cold water if it’s not.