Saffron Aioli

Saffron Aioli Cafe Chloe, a charming little restaurant and wine bar, is hands down my favorite French spot in San Diego.  Nestled in the East Village, Cafe Chloe offers a wide variety of affordable wines, a friendly staff and a serious selection of delicious French bites.  One of my favorite menu items is the Pommes Frites with Frizzled Leaks and Trio of Dips.  Matchstick cut fries served with light, crisp leak wisps and three flavor packed dipping sauces.  This Saffron Aioli is one of those three sauces.  Aromatic saffron is blended with creamy mayonnaise, garlic, lemon, salt and white pepper.  Serve with a warm baguette, crostini or a pile of hot French fries (aka Pommes Frites).  So yum!  Continue reading for the recipe.

Saffron Saffron Aioli
Adapted from Cafe Chloe.

1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
1 teaspoon warm water
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 very small garlic clove (or 1/2 of a medium sized clove or 1/4 of a large clove)
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt
White pepper

Bread, for serving

Saffron Aioli

In a small bowl, combine saffron threads and warm water.  Let hydrate for a minute or two (don’t discard the water afterwards).

In a food processor, combine saffron threads (with water), mayo, garlic, lemon juice, a pinch of kosher salt and a pinch of white pepper.  Pulse a few times, then blend until well combined.  Season to taste with additional kosher salt and white pepper if needed.

Transfer to a clean bowl and serve.

Makes 3/4 cup.


  1. says

    Wow, that must be an amazing sauce, since I LOVE saffron I will try it for sure! I’ve never been to Cafe Chloe but it is now on my list of places to try, thanks!

    • Anonymous says

      Hi Tiffany, definitely give Cafe Chloe a try. I went there for restaurant week and had a spectacular 3 course meal. Dessert was some sort of Chocolate and Salted Caramel Pot de Creme. So delicious.

  2. Kita says

    I love the flavor of saffron but have yet to break down and actually purchase any. The idea of saffron aioli sounds delightful.

    • Anonymous says

      I have found more affordable saffron at ethnic markets around San Diego, but the small bottle from Trader Joe’s is also a good value. Give it a try! I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

  3. Chaz says

    This is a great aioli! One thing I did was dissolve the saffron in the lemon juice itself, thereby avoiding dilution of the other flavors with water and keeping the aioli thicker. Next I want to try making the mayonnaise from scratch. :)


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