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Saffron Aioli

Saffron Aioli

We use aioli with several of the pintxos you'll find on this blog. So, here's how to make aioli.

Total Time: 10 minutes or so


pinch of saffron threads (about 1/8 of a teaspoon)

2 garlic cloves

1 large egg yolk

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 


1. Place saffron threads in hot water to steep for about 10 minutes.

2. Mince and mash the garlic to a paste.

3. Whisk together yolk and lemon juice in a bowl.

4. Add olive oil, a few drops at a time, to the yolk mixture, whisking constantly until the whole thing is emulsified, then whisk in the garlic paste. Whisk wildly. Whisk with abandon. The importance of the whisking cannot be overstated.

5. Chill, covered, until ready to use.


The above is a variation of a recipe from Chef Jody Adams from Gourmet Magazine, September 2002. You can find it on He calls for mustard and vegetable oil in the original, which you should certainly feel free to add, should you so desire. As mentioned on the top review there, you can add any number of herbs or spices, such as dill, oregano, capers, piment d'Espelette, or cumin. Experiment as you see fit. If it tastes bad, just bin it and try again.

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