What to Serve With Aioli

How-Tos, Serve

What to Serve with Aioli


Lewis Crutch

Garlic, emulsified with olive oil and a pinch of salt is one of the greatest food items to come out of Spain (and no, real aioli isn’t made with eggs)! But how should you serve it up? What goes well with aioli?

7 Things to Serve with Aioli

Right, so you’ve got a bowl of stinking aioli ready and waiting to be eaten up. The problem is that even the most garlic-loving foodie will struggle to sit and eat a bowl with a spoon. So, what do you eat with aioli? Here are 7 things you can serve up:

1) Bread… But Only the Good Stuff

Put that white sandwich loaf away! If you’re going to dip bread into aioli, then it needs to be the good stuff. Fortunately, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to picking an appropriate bread to dunk into your bowl of aioli.

You could cut rounds from a crusty baguette. You could use torn pieces of warmed pitta or flat bread. Strips of toasted ciabatta brushed with a little olive oil, wedges of focaccia or slices of sourdough would all work well here too.

Just steer clear of that dull sandwich loaf.

Pile of Warm Flat Breads for Dipping Into Aioli

2) Crudites

If a vegetable can be eaten raw (and most of them can), it can be used as the perfect vessel for scooping up a healthy serving of aioli and then transporting it to your awaiting taste buds.

Strips of pepper, celery, carrot and cucumber alongside whole tomatoes and trimmed radishes would not make a bad plate of food to dunk into aioli.

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you could try dipping in strips of courgette, whole chicory leaves or radicchio.

Crudites Served with a Bowl of Aioli

3) Boiled New Potatoes

There is not much to this. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, throw in a bag of new potatoes and cook for around 20 minutes until just tender. Dry and allow to steam for a few minutes to remove excess liquid then dunk the warm potatoes into the aioli and enjoy.

This will work for other potato types, of course, and even other cooking methods. If you’ve fried some wedges or roasted some red potatoes, then dunk away.

4) Fries

If boiled potatoes aren’t your thing, then fries are bound to be, right? For dipping into aioli, you want to crispiest fries you can get hold of. Skin-on fries, potato wedges, sweet potato fries and triple-cooked chips would all work fine too.

If you can scoop aioli on them, then use them!

3 Different Types of Fries for Aioli

5) Whitebait

If you’re happy to take things up a notch from bread, veg and potatoes then whitebait wouldn’t be the worst direction to take things. Salted, deep-fried fish are perfectly complimented by punchy garlicky aioli.

6) Chicken Wings

Something greasy and fatty, like chicken wings, needs to be accompanied with something that can cut through all that richness… Why not fight rich with rich by serving them up with aioli?

7) In Burgers, Tacos, Grilled Cheese…

Yes, aioli is traditionally served as a dip. But that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to dipping things into it. Why not use it in place of mayonnaise? If you can handle the fiery heat of garlic, then smear it wherever you fancy.

Smother a burger bun in aioli before topping a patty and your usual burger toppings. Drizzle over tacos to give them an uplifting garlic hit. Pimp up grilled cheese by mixing in a dollop of aioli to the cheese.

Can You Freeze Aioli?

So you’ve made your aioli, you’ve served it with a few of the 7 things listed above, but you’ve still got some leftover – after all, a little does go a long way! So, can you freeze aioli or is this a bit of a no-no?

Unfortunately, freezing aioli is not a good idea whether made with a mayonnaise base or traditionally with just garlic. Once frozen and thawed, the aioli will split, leaving you with a grainy, gritty and greasy sauce.

Fortunately, it will last around 10 days in the fridge if you decide to store it, giving you plenty of time to come up with some further uses for it.

Aioli Accompaniments FAQs

Do you still have questions about what to serve alongside aioli? Then these FAQs might help you out:

What Herbs and Spices Can Be Added to Aioli?

Fortunately, punchy garlic can hold up against a range of strong spices or flavours. Try mixing in freshly chopped parsley, a pinch of paprika or even a drizzle of truffle oil if you want to elevate your aioli to new heights.

Should Aioli Be Served Cold?

No, aioli should not be served cold. Instead, it should be removed from the fridge around 30 minutes before serving to allow it to reach room temperature. This is when the flavour will be at its best.

Can You Cook With Aioli?

Yes, it is impossible to cook with aioli, but it’s recommended that you only use it at the end of your cooking. If you heat it for an extended period, you will break it down too much.

Can You Put Aioli on Pasta?

Sure! It might not be traditional or authentic. You might get berated by purists. But if you want a super quick pasta sauce packed full of garlic, stir a spoonful of aioli through hot pasta, just as you would with pesto.

Is Aioli Just Garlic Mayonnaise?

No! Aioli is not garlic mayonnaise. Garlic mayonnaise is the emulsification of a neutral oil with egg yolks and added garlic. Aioli is the emulsification of garlic and olive oil – no egg in sight!

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