Aioli with Lemon & Tarragon Whips Up Quickly in a Blender

Aioli, a versatile cold sauce of olive oil and garlic, made like mayonnaise, is native to the Mediterranean. Make this one at home and turn any meal into a special occasion.

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Aioli with lemon and tarragon pairs well with appetizers like these tempura vegetables.

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.

  1. In a blender, combine the yolk, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pulse for 10 seconds.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Michelle-Marie Gilkeson

Michelle-Marie’s recipe for aioli with tarragon and lemon was originally published in The Boston Globe.

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I'm Michelle-Marie, your new call-it-like-I-see-it friend.

I'm a Certified Functional Nutrition Counselor, women's health advocate, and mom. After years of hacking my way through the chronic pain jungle, I was fed up with the deplorable state of women's healthcare. I founded We Get To Be Well to offer women a framework for lasting wellness.

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