Aioli in Catalonia means garlic, olive oil, a pinch of salt, that’s it. Not for nothing, we call it allioli: all-i-oli, meaning garlic-and-oil. Watch the video below, read the step-by-step instructions, and you’ll learn how to make this delicious and colorful homemade sauce in no time
Allioli is an essential sauce of the Mediterranean Catalan cuisine you can add to many dishes and foods, use as a dip with pieces of bread, and as a spread on a bread slice or toast.
Catalan aioli is indispensable with grilled meats, grilled rabbit, and outdoors costellades, which are meals based on lamb chops grilled in an open fire. In a way, costellades are the equivalent of American and Northern European barbecues, so in this sense allioli is a barbecue sauce.
In several fish dishes of the traditional seaside cuisine, you add aioli or broken allioli a moment before the cooking time is over. Typical examples are fish soups or seafood stews like suquet de peix with aioli, or this lamb chop recipe.
You can use allioli to top potatoes, vegetables, steamed mussels… As you can see, aioli has many uses in the Mediterranean Catalan cuisine.
My video focuses on showing the circular movement of the pestle in the mortar in order to bind the garlic and the olive oil that make Catalan allioli. In Catalonia we’ve always made allioli like this, and anyone can learn how to do it.
I make a point of demonstrating it as some people wrongly assert that it’s impossible to bind garlic and oil, so you have no choice but to add eggs. Adding eggs to allioli may distort the taste of a dish, particularly fish. Click play and enjoy the video!