Let’s clarify this mojo de ajo. It’s a sauce made form garlic, olive oil and fresh citrus juice. You mash the caramelized garlic with other ingredients until you get a rough, oily paste. I prefer to use it as a condiments when I want to give a meal lots of flavor, and a slight punch. This is the recipe I adapted from Travis Lett’s Gjelina cookbook.
This is a fantastic thing to have around and it will level up your cooking game. You know that situation when you gather a bunch of people for a BBQ, and besides bunch of meat and bread there’s nothing to give to that vegetarian/vegan friend. With this sauce, those kinds of situations are a history. Just roughly chop zucchinis, eggplants, tomatoes and pepper, salt them and smear with the sauce. Throw them on the BBQ and will they’re cooking, smear them couple of more times. Instant success.
Mojo de ajo
- 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 15 cloves of garlic
- 60 ml fresh orange juice
- 60 ml fresh lime/lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp crushed chili flakes
- First clean the garlic cloves. Thea easiest way to do that is to cover them with boiling water and leave for a minute. you should be able to peel them.
- Place the garlic cloves in a small ovenproof pan and cover with olive oil, making sure the garlic is completely submerged. Place in the preheated oven (180°C) and roast until the garlic if soft and golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.
- Stir in the orange and lime or lemon (I used lemon this time) juice and return to the oven for another 15 minutes.
- Let it cool slightly then mash with a fork into a rough paste. Add the oregano, chili and salt and stir well.
- The sauce will not emulsify, it will remain oily and should be stirred before use.
- Stored in a airtight jar it will keep in the fridge for up to a month. Bring to the room temperature before using.
How to use mojo de ajo? Best as a condiments while the food is cooking and is best for meats, fish and veg. I love to use it when grilling eggplants or asparagus, or when I bake turnips, beets, potatoes, carrots and parsnips. It’s best to use with root veg. But, that’s not the end of it. You can drizzle it over a warm bowl of carrots soup, add as a finishing touch to sauteed mushrooms or marinate tofu in it overnight. It’s also great to drizzle over feta or goat cheese, slather over a crunchy piece of toast etc. Just stir it well before using.