Make Ahead

Pimentón Aioli

June  4, 2014
4 Ratings
Photo by Eric Moran
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Makes 2 cups
Author Notes

This smoky aioli is the base of Saltie's Scuttlebutt sandwich, but you'll also want to keep a jar on hand at all times for any smearing and dunking needs that may arise. For a snack, try it dabbed on hard-boiled eggs.

Note: If you use a food processor, you may want to add a bit of water, midway through adding your oil, to thin it out. If make the aioli by hand, don't add the water! It's more likely to break that way.

Adapted slightly from Saltie: A Cookbook (Chronicle, 2012) —Marian Bull

What You'll Need
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pimentón
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 cups pure olive oil (don't use your fanciest bottle here)
  • 4 tablespoons water, or as needed (if you're using a food processor; see note)
  • 1 dash Kosher salt
  1. Put the garlic in a mortar with the sea salt and pound it into a paste with a pestle; you can also do this with a knife, mincing and then smooshing the garlic and salt into a paste with the side of the blade. However you do it, work until you have a completely smooth -- not chunky -- paste.
  2. Transfer the garlic paste into a food processor. Add the egg yolks, pimentón, and vinegar and pulse to mix. With the machine running, begin to add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. After you've added about a third of the oil, the mixture will start to come together. Add 2 tablespoons of the water to thin the aioli and prevent it from breaking. Continue to add the oil. As the mixture thickens up again, add the remaining 2 tablespoons water, a little at a time, just as needed to correct the consistency. Once all of the oil has been added, turn off the machine and taste the aioli. Add salt if you need it.
  3. Note: You can also make this by hand; that's how I like to do it. Here's how: Combine the garlic paste, pimentón aioli, yolk, and vinegar in a sturdy mixing bowl. (Steady yourself with a tea towel underneath the bowl to avoid slippage.) Whisk them to combine. Then start adding the oil, just a drop at a time, and whisk furiously. After you've added about a quarter cup, the mixture will start to emulsify, and you can add the oil in a steady stream, but don't get crazy. Skip the water, unless your aioli is just too thick to handle; it's more likely to break the emulsion when you make your aioli by hand.
  4. The aioli will keep, covered tightly in the refrigerator, for up to 1 week.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lady Gofre
    Lady Gofre
  • amysarah
  • Marian Bull
    Marian Bull
  • Diana Nadine Fox
    Diana Nadine Fox
Marian Bull

Recipe by: Marian Bull


8 Reviews

Lady G. June 9, 2014
Typo alert: alioli, not aioli :) I'm a picky Spaniard
Thanks so much for the recipe!!!!!
Marian B. June 12, 2014
I've always understood that allioli is the Spanish condiment that doesn't have any egg yolks in it -- it's always been a mystery to me! At least in English, aioli is the name for a condiment made from egg yolks, oil, some garlic, and often some sort of acid -- often described as a garlicky mayonnaise.
qtprof January 5, 2022
I know I am very late to this party, but here's a good article about this differences (or not!) between aioli, allioli and alioli:
amysarah June 9, 2014
I was in Spain last month with my kids - brought back so much Pimenton de la Vera that everything packed in my suitcase still smells like it. This recipe is just what I need - I'm trying to lure them home with a seafood paella, served with a drizzle of pimenton aioli - just like the unbelievably delicious one we had in Barcelona. Wish me luck.
Marian B. June 9, 2014
Oh, I'm so jealous -- of all your paprika and of your trip! I love love love Spain. There's a really great recipe for fideos (fideus) in the Zuni café cookbook, and she mentions that it's traditionally dolloped with allioli -- I love this idea.
amysarah June 10, 2014
Another reason it's crazy I don't have the Zuni cookbook! Would love that recipe for fideos.
Diana N. June 4, 2014
What is Pimenton?
Marian B. June 5, 2014
Smoked paprika!