This tarragon aioli, which whips up quickly in a blender, is bright with lemon and has a spicy, licorice-like note from the fresh herb. First pulse the emulsifying agents — an egg yolk, Dijon mustard, lemon juice — then, with the machine running, slowly drizzle in avocado oil, then olive oil (take care because extra-virgin olive oil will become bitter if over-processed). Stir in the chopped tarragon by hand at the end.
Use aioli as a dip for crispy potatoes or roasted vegetables, or dollop the creamy sauce beside grilled fish or steamed artichokes.
aioli with lemon and tarragon recipe
Makes 1¼ cups
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup avocado oil (see recipe note)
½ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon warm water
5 sprigs tarragon, leaves chopped
Note: I like to use a 50:50 avocado oil to olive oil ratio because avocado oil tends to be less expensive and is more forgiving in a blender. If you don’t have any avocado oil on hand, try going all in on olive oil. As mentioned, extra virgin olive oil can become bitter if over-blended, so take it slow and taste as you go.
- In a blender, combine the yolk, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pulse for 10 seconds.
- With the blender running, remove the insert in the lid. Slowly drizzle in a few tablespoons of avocado oil; blend for 10 seconds. Stop the blender, remove the lid, and scrape down the sides of the jar with a rubber spatula.
- Replace the lid, start the machine again, and slowly drizzle in the remaining avocado oil, followed by the olive oil. Blend just until a smooth mayonnaise forms.
- Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the chopped tarragon leaves. If the mixture seems thick, stir in 1 tablespoon warm water a few drops at a time.
- Taste for seasoning and add more lemon juice, a teaspoon at a time, and more salt and pepper, if you like. Scrape down the sides of the bowl; cover and refrigerate.
This recipe for aioli with tarragon and lemon was originally published in The Boston Globe.
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