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It is often said that there isn’t any good food in South Lake Tahoe here, unless you’re willing to spend a pretty penny to eat in a restaurant like the one I work in.  However, there is an amazing little gem in my neighborhood: a Mediterranean cafe called Artemis.  The food is great, the prices are reasonable and both my parents and my fireman’s parents love the place too!  Its our go to when our folks are visiting.

Perhaps my favorite thing there is their fries, sounds simple but they’re so much more!  They’re tasty seasoned fries, sprinkled with parsley and served with a spiced aioli.  I really respect a place that has the confidence to serve mayo with their fries, it shows a certain commitment to doing thing authentically as opposed to the way Americans expect them.  I tried my hand at making a version of this yummy sauce to accompany two different dinners!  The best part is that if you didn’t want to make a mayonnaise by hand, you can just flavor a store bought mayo with the ad-ins, it’s quite simple!

DSCN5736I had my aioli first with a French bistro inspired meal of French onion soup with oven fries!  Yum!

DSCN5746The second meal I made was some chickpea burgers slathered in my awesome aioli with a red cabbage slaw on pita bread.  A vegan meal that my fireman heartily approved.  (I think that chickpea burger recipe may make it to the blog after some tweaking…)

Mediterranean Aioli – makes 1 cup

Serves 4-8 as a condiment – Cost approx $1.50 per batch or approx $.25 per serving


  • 2 egg yolks ($.25)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 – 1/2 cups oil ($1)
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • pinch garam masala or all spice
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

If you’re making the mayo by hand (it’s so worth it!), get together your mayo making equipment, a whisk, a medium sized bowl, a towel and your guns.  There’s a lot of whisking that goes into a home made mayo, use your wrist and shoulder, not your muscles or you might poop-out, Lord knows I did in culinary school!  Put the towel on your counter to keep your bowl from moving around.  Whisk up the egg yolks, dijon and vinegar together for a few minutes, you should notice a change in the texture, it will get very smooth and the color of the egg yolks will lighten.  Slowly drip in the oil, whisking constantly until a thick mayo forms.  (Once the emulsion gets going, you can pour in the oil a little faster than drips.)

Smoosh the garlic clove with the salt to make a paste and mix it into the mayo.  Mix in all the remaining ingredients.  Taste and adjust the seasonings, you can also thin it out a bit by whisking in a tablespoon of water at a time.

Your humble mayonnaise has been transformed to elegant and flavorful aioli, give yourself a hand.