Preserved Lemon Aioli

May 20, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Makes about 1 cup
Author Notes

If there is one sauce that can help you sail through summer lunches and patio dinners, it's aioli. If you've never made it, you'll be relieved by how easy it is—get out your whisk and you're half way there. You can serve the Preserved Lemon Aioli with any seafood; otherwise, whip up some to go with grilled lamb chops, a burger, roasted vegetables, or a chicken salad. —Amanda Hesser

What You'll Need
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more if needed
  • 1 garlic clove, mashed
  • 1 pinch salt, more to taste
  • 5 ounces canola oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped preserved lemon, more to taste
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Add the canola oil a few drops at a time, whisking vigorously. The mixture will be loose at first and will then turn foamy before finally pulling together and thickening. Once it starts to thicken, you can add the oil in a thin stream (I like to think of it as a thread). It helps to have someone pour while you whisk and hold onto the bowl. If no one is around, fold a tea towel and set it underneath the bowl to steady it.
  2. Once all the canola oil has been incorporated, whisk in the olive oil—again, slowly. Add 1 tablespoon preserved lemon, mix it in and taste your aioli. Add more lemon juice, preserved lemon, and salt as desired.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Cherie McNaul
    Cherie McNaul
  • Donna Hayes
    Donna Hayes
  • Bill Frohlich
    Bill Frohlich
  • Amanda Hesser
    Amanda Hesser
Amanda Hesser

Recipe by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.

8 Reviews

Cherie M. July 19, 2017
I've seen this same recipe but using a whole head of garlic that has been cut in half and roast ih the oven 350degrees until soft. This does darken the garlic some, but has an interesting flavor other than fresh chopped. When the garlic is soft (wrap in some foil before baking if desired that way) and cool enough to handle just squeeze out the farlic from the outer garlic skin. This recipe is a very strong flavor, a little goes a "long" way! I wouldn't use it for lunch then go back to work!!
Donna H. June 5, 2016
I always use an immersion blender or regular blender for my mayonnaise based condiments. Much easier on the arm!
Lsh September 25, 2015
I made preserved lemons and would like to try this recipe. Has anyone done this in a food processor rather than by hand?
Bill F. April 2, 2015
Why would you mix measurements? 5 oz for one, 1/4 cup for the other???
Amanda H. April 4, 2015
Great question -- I think I did it that way because there was no easy fractional measurement for 5 ounces, but I should have made them both ounce measurements.
Tatanka June 20, 2012
Use a whole head of garlic for a ton of all i oli. Here's a video.
Tatanka June 20, 2012
Notice there is no egg in traditional all i oli.
Tatanka June 20, 2012
It's interesting how the Catalan named for the oil and garlic sauce we call all i oli (all=garlic, oli=oil) has become aioli in English. Equally interesting is how garlic mayonnaise and all i oli are confused. All i oli is made of only raw garlic and oil. A head of garlic is peeled, chopped and then smashed in a mortar and pestle until it becomes a glutinous paste. Virgin olive oil is then added, a couple of drops at a time, while the pestle blends it in, traditionally only rotating it in one direction. Slowly adding a bit of oil at a time the idea is to make a slightly translucent gel-like sauce. Use a bit at a time, because it is very strong, on grilled meats and on boiled yellow potatoes, which are usually made with chard in Catalonia.