Okay, it's not quite tomato season here yet, but thinking about aioli, I couldn't resist going and buying some early season tomatoes to make into a sandwich schmeared all over with aioli because I really think it's one of the best uses there is for it. The traditional tomato-mayo combination is gussied up just slightly by adding anchovies and capers. I got the idea of adding anchovies to aioli from a friend who adds anchovies with her mayo all the time on sandwiches. It's delicious. (She has also been known to drizzle cod liver oil over her tomato and avocado sandwiches. This, I find much less appealing.)
I like a higher amount of olive oil in my aioli because I like the intensity of the flavor, especially with all the other flavors here. You can really use any neutral tasting oil in the place of canola oil but just please don't use regular vegetable oil (corn or soy) because it's really not good for you. - fiveandspice —fiveandspice
Test Kitchen Notes
As this recipe looked pretty simple, I decided to make it at the worst time possible – Monday morning before heading out to work. I made the anchovy aioli at home and packed the tomato, bread, capers and aioli to bring in for lunch. The aioli (and packing) took about 15 to 20 minutes, including washing up. And the aioli came together beautifully. I used an Araucana chicken egg, Pianogrillo olive oil and coarse Trapani sea salt. No blender or second person needed. I cheated and did not add the oil drop by drop, but in about ½ teaspoon amounts to begin with and increasing as I went without a problem. The sandwiches were terrific and I converted a co-worker (my poor minion) to an anchovy lover. - jacqueline_willis —jacqueline_willis
- Serves 1 (sandwich, the aioli makes about 1 cup)
- anchovy aioli
large clove of garlic, peeled
oil packed anchovy fillets
large egg yolk, at room temperature
good quality olive oil
- Tomato sandwich
generous slice of good multigrain bread
(use more or less to taste, I am a slatherer) of anchovy aioli
medium perfectly ripened slicing tomato (whatever variety looks best and most perfect when you're buying - I wound up using a couple smaller campari tomatoes instead)
(a heaping one) of capers (the kind that come in brine, not salt)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- anchovy aioli
- Chop the garlic coarsely, then add a pinch of salt to it and smash it to a paste with a mortar and pestle. Coarsely chop the anchovies and mash those into a paste with the garlic.
- Transfer the garlic-anchovy mixture to a bowl. Add the lemon juice and egg yolk to the bowl and whisk well until blended.
- Drop by drop, start whisking in the canola oil (it helps to have someone else do the oil pouring - as demoed by Amanda), whisking vigorously to emulsify it.
- Then, start pouring in the olive oil in a very thin stream, whisking like mad all the while to keep everything emulsified. Whisk until all the oil is incorporated and the mixture is thick. If it is too thick, whisk in a tiny amount of water (or lemon juice), but use a gentle touch so you don't accidentally over-thin it.
- Adjust salt to taste (the anchovies are quite salty, so I find I don't really need much). Then use in any number of ways, but most especially go and make yourself a tomato sandwich (see below). The aioli will also keep for a week in the fridge.
- Tomato sandwich
- Toast your piece of bread, then set it aside on a cooling rack. (I like my sandwiches open faced. If you prefer closed sandwiches, then simply toast two slices.)
- Slice your tomato into nice thick slices, about 1/4 inch.
- Generously spread aioli all over one side of your bread slice. Then, layer on the tomato slices. Use as many as you can reasonably fit. Then, carefully sprinkle the capers on top. Sprinkle generously with salt and black pepper.
- Eat - carefully! It's a bit of a mess. I just love messy sandwiches. Then, repeat frequently until your aioli is used up! :)