Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of a Gluten-Free Aioli
Aioli translates literally to "garlic and oil", so really...how can you go wrong? Aioli is a delicious sauce from the Provence region of France and the Catalan region of Spain, and it's got a lot of delicious uses. Use it as a sandwich spread similar to mayonnaise, drizzle it over fish or roasted roots, dip veggies or fries in it. There's no end to the possibilities.
Most traditional aioli recipes call for adding lemon juice as an acidifier, but substituting a nice malt vinegar is also a super tasty way to go. So that's the way we'll go...and not just with any malt vinegar, we're going to use Liberty Gluten-Free Beer vinegar. As with any of my recipes, this is meant to be a starting point for you to get creative. You can use any of The Old-Time Vinegar Company beer vinegars in this with great success, but the specific blend of ingredients here is tailored to the millet and buckwheat malts in Liberty.
First, the ingredients:
1/4 cup Liberty! Gluten-Free Beer Vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup walnut oil
1-1/2 cups sunflower oil
A few notes: depending on whom you ask, it might be considered more traditional to just use egg yolks for this. Personally, I don't usually have a use for egg whites so I like to use the whole egg. If you want to use just the yolks then either cut the other ingredients in half or use 2 egg yolks. Also, the amount of sunflower oil may vary. As you will see, you just need to keep adding it until the aioli gets to your desired consistency.
So here we go, and it's pretty simple: place all of the ingredients except the oils into a blender, food processor or stand mixer and blend them until well mixed. Now, you don't NEED the blender, food processor or stand mixer, but it'll make the next step a lot easier.
While constantly mixing the ingredients at a high speed, start pouring in the oils in a steady stream. Pour in the walnut oil first, then start in on the sunflower oil. (Do you see why it'll be easier to use a mixer?) When you get to around the 3/4 cup mark on the sunflower oil, start paying attention to the consistency of the mixture. It should start to thicken. Keep adding a little sunflower oil at a time until it gets to be just a tiny bit THINNER than your average sandwich spread (it will thicken when you cool it in the fridge). Once you've got it to the consistency you want, you're done!
You can start enjoying this right away, but the garlic will permeate through the aioli more thoroughly the longer you let it sit. Keep this deliciousness stored in the fridge, and it should last quite a while. If you ever notice it separate in the fridge, this is no problem that a little whisking can't fix.