I’ve adapted this from the Basil Aioli recipe in my book, so that it is a plain aioli. This is served with the Grande Aioli meal in southern France in Provence at the end of summer, and any time of year with vegetables or meats. Aioli is regarded as simple to make, but achieving the proper consistency can sometimes be a challenge. Although the technique is time-consuming, adding the oil one drop at a time is essential to achieving a good result.
3 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 egg yolks
¾ to 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil or equal parts grape seed or canola oil and extra-virgin olive oil
To make the aioli, in a mortar pestle, crush the garlic wit the salt until a paste forms. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they turn a pale yellow, about 5 minutes. Add the olive oil, a drop at a time, while whisking constantly. Keep adding the oil a drop at a time and whisking constantly until the mixture begins to thicken, 8 to 10 minutes. At this point, you will have added about ½ cup of the oil. Now you can begin adding the oil in a slow, thin, steady stream while continuing to whisk vigorously.
When the mixture is the consistency of mayonnaise, you can stop adding oil. Whisk in the garlic mixture until evenly distributed. If the mixture begins to separate, or “break,” while you are whisking in the oil, being again with another egg yolk in a clean bowl, whisk it until it is pale yellow, and then add the broken oil-egg mixture to the new egg yolk a drop at a time, until the egg yolk thickens. This can be done up to tow time if necessary.
You should have about ¾ cup aioli. Cover and refrigerate until serving.