Saffron Aïoli

Peter Gordon uses saffron to add a golden hue and a little fragranced magic to mayonnaise
By Peter Gordon
Saffron Aïoli
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 250ml
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • pinches saffron
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large egg
  • 150 ml light olive oil or extra virgin rape seed oil

Tips and Suggestions

it's quite hard to make a small amount of aïoli but it will keep in the fridge for 4 days if kept tightly covered.

Some people worry about eating raw eggs and if you do, or you just can't be bothered making your own aïoli, then there's an alternative. Simply mix a little crushed fresh garlic and a pinch of saffron threads that you've soaked in a teaspoon of lemon juice for 15 minutes into a commercial variety. This is easy to whisk by hand, but you may prefer to use the whisk on a stick-blender.


1. Put the saffron in a small bowl with the lemon juice and leave to soak for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and soak another 5 minutes. Separate the egg and add the yolk to the saffron.

2. Whisk the egg white with a fork for 5 seconds then add half of that to the saffron and discard the rest - the white makes it a little more stable.

3. Whisk the saffron mixture together then slowly begin adding the oil, half a teaspoon at a time, until you've whisked in about ¼ of the oil. Now you can add 1 teaspoon at a time until you've added half of it. At this point you can slowly drizzle it in, whisking continuously, until it's all been emulsified. If at any point it looks like the mixture will split then add a teaspoon of hot water and whisk for 15 seconds.

4. Once it's done, taste for seasoning and add some fine salt, then a teaspoon of hot water to help stabilise it. Keep it in the fridge, covered tightly.

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