***Disclosure: I received complimentary samples to facilitate my post. All opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
One of my favorite meals during the summer would have to be a classic burger. With lots and lots of cheese, of course. You can't forget the cheese. Unless you're lactose intolerant or Vegan, and if that's the case, you can give your cheese to me. I will gladly take it off of your hands.
Anyway, this summer, why not make an ordinary burger something extraordinary by ditching the ketchup and making a delicious, flavorful aioli instead? Now if you watch the Food Network, you probably know what an aioli is, and it might sound a bit intimidating to you. It is a rather fancy sounding word, after all. But I assure you, making your own aioli is easy. If you need some aioli inspiration, check out the wide variety of aioli recipes from Red Gold Tomatoes. These recipes take about 10 minutes to prepare, and they can add incredible flavor to everything from burgers to steaks to tacos. Aioli is versatile stuff, and can go with pretty much any dish you can imagine.
Now if you've never incorporated roasted garlic into your meals, you're definitely missing out. The process of roasting garlic is very simple, and it transforms ordinary garlic into something decadent and complex. The garlic becomes super-soft, and the roasting process lends a certain sweetness to your normally pungent garlic.
To roast garlic, all you need to do is take a head of garlic and cut just enough off the top so the individual cloves are visible. Place your garlic into a cake pan or on a baking sheet. Drizzle it with some flavorful olive oil, and sprinkle liberally with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper for added flavor. Cover with some foil and pop it into an oven that's preheated to 375 degrees Farenheit. Then walk away for 45 minutes to an hour.
Now as the garlic roasts away to absolute perfection, you will notice a rich, savory aroma filling your kitchen. This scent might tempt you to open the oven to check on the garlic. Don't do it! Keep the oven closed and let it work it's wonders. Trust me. It's worth the wait!
Once the timer has gone off, remove the garlic from the oven. Let it sit for a few minutes, since it will be extremely hot. Then take off the foil and gaze adoringly at these beautifully browned cloves. Don't they look amazing?
Mix it all together and you've got a creamy, flavorful sauce that will really make your burgers or sandwiches sing. Feel free to add spices to suit your own personal tastes. Aioli is very versatile, so experiment and have fun! Isn't that what cooking is all about, after all?
Roasted Garlic Aioli
-1/2 cup Mayonnaise (I like natural and organic Olive Oil varieties best, but any mayo will work!)
-10 Large Garlic Cloves, roasted and mashed
-1 Can Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes with Garlic and Olive Oil, drained.
-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
-1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
-1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh Basil
-Dash of Balsamic Vinegar, to taste
To Roast Garlic:
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Cut the top off of the garlic head, exposing the cloves inside. Leave intact.
- Place garlic in a cake pan or on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
- Cover with foil and pop it in the oven for 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven when done, allow garlic to cool for about 10 minutes since it WILL be too hot to handle.
- Once the garlic is cooled, simply squeeze the soft, roasted cloves out of the garlic head. Be sure to discard all of the papery garlic skin. You don't want to eat that. Trust me.
For the Aioli:
- Mash the roasted garlic in a mixing bowl. You can use the back of a spoon or even a fork to do this. It's mushy and easy to mash into garlicky goodness.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
- Cover your aioli and put it in the fridge so the flavors marry. I like to let it sit for a couple of hours.
- Enjoy on burgers, sandwiches, tacos, paninis, or whatever else your heart and stomach desire!
How Do YOU Aioli?! I'd love to hear your recipe ideas!