There’s nothing more satisfying than dipping a freshly fried hot chip into an unctuous aioli and feeling the sharp punch of garlic on your tongue.
In case you were wondering, aioli is not fancy mayonnaise, it has its own identity. Mayonnaise and aioli are similar in that they are both made by emulsion (forcing together two ingredients that don’t really want to mix – like oil and water). The water and oil don’t ever mix fully, but the water droplets eventually disperse throughout the mixture and give aioli and mayonnaise their ‘fluffy’ texture. But what’s the difference between these two sauces? Well, mayonnaise is made with a neutral oil and eggs, and aioli is made with olive oil and garlic. I know which one sounds more appetising to me…
If you’re not a fan of oil-heavy foods, then we’ve got some good news for you. We discovered that we could create a vegan aioli with cashew nuts rather than olive oil. The fat from the nuts acts as the ‘oil’ in this version, and it’s still as rich and creamy as the traditional version.
2/3 cup or 85g of raw unsalted cashews (soak these overnight before using)
1 garlic clove (feel free to add more if you love garlic)
1/2 tsp of sea salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup or 60ml of water
- The day before you’re planning to make your aioli, prepare your cashews. Put them in a bowl and cover completely with cold water. Leave to soak overnight. Soaking your cashews will make a much creamier aioli!
- Once you’re ready to assemble the aioli, drain and rinse your cashews.
- In a high powered blender, add the cashews, garlic, salt, lemon juice and water. Blend all of this together until you have a thick, creamy sauce. If the ingredients are struggling to blend, you can add a tbsp of water to the mixture. Your final mixture should be thick and creamy, and you should be able to stand a spoon up in it!
- Decant your aioli to a bowl or storage container, then place it in the fridge. Leave it in the fridge for two hours before serving it. This will thicken your aioli even more.
- Serve your aioli with your favourite plant-based kebab, chips, or even fresh vegetables!
- You can store your aioli in the fridge in an airtight container for up to four days.