Upgrade Your Garlic Aioli With One Simple Ingredient Swap

Homemade garlic aioli is already an upgrade from store-bought condiments like mayonnaise to spread on sandwiches and to use as a dip for fries and veggies. Even so, that doesn't mean you can't elevate the thick and flavor-rich condiment too. You might use roasted garlic bulbs to give your aioli richer flavor, but what you should really do is swap in black garlic instead of regular garlic for an easy upgrade.

It's exactly what Tasting Table recipe developer Stephanie Rapone suggests with our homemade garlic aioli recipe. "If you're feeling fancy and can find it, my real favorite is to use black garlic instead of regular garlic," Rapone says. In case you don't know what black garlic tastes like, the special ingredient has a milder flavor with sweeter notes compared to the regular garlic you might be used to due to the aging process it undergoes. The flavor makes it an ideal ingredient swap in garlic aioli especially for anyone who doesn't like intense flavors of its regular form — but you should still expect deeper, unexpected and earthy notes, too.

To find black garlic for an upgraded aioli, it might take more effort than it does to score regular garlic. Your local grocery store might not stock it, so check out speciality shops and health food stores. Otherwise, order it online and the ingredient might even come peeled to make it easier to use.

No knife or grater needed for black garlic

Black garlic has a similar consistency to roasted garlic, so you can easily blend it into your homemade aioli. There's no need to mince, chop, or grate it like plain raw garlic cloves. Simply smash it into a paste, then combine with the other aioli ingredients like lemon juice and oils according to our recipe. Use the same amount of garlic cloves with black garlic, like one large clove according to Stephanie Rapone; consider adding more to taste since the variety is slightly milder with different flavor profiles.

Since you're already working with a complex ingredient, pair other unique ingredients to elevate garlic aioli even more. Consider preserved lemon, balsamic vinegar, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, or soy sauce. You can also try black garlic in this smoked paprika aioli recipe to pair the subtly sweet ingredient with smoky flavors. There's a good chance you'll have leftovers after you make a batch (or two) of aioli, so consider other uses for black garlic — like giving an umami boost to Brussels sprouts and to elevate store-bought hummus.