Mojo de Ajo

Mojo de AjoFew recipes have made me as excited and eager to get into the kitchen and start peeling four nail-burning heads of garlic as when I saw Rick Bayless stir up some garlic-gold alchemy on public television with his Mojo de Ajo.

Mojo de Ajo, which apparently translates into a bath of garlic, is a traditional Mexican dish with infinitely delicious possibilities, and you can see why. Think of a ton of spicy garlic drowned in fruity olive oil and then kissed alive by tangy lemon juice. It’s magic.

Mojo de Ajo is great on almost anything: drizzle a few drops on toast or a salad, stir it into pasta, even toss some root vegetables in it and roast them. And of course, there’s a plethora of Mexican dishes you can add it to for some extra mojo at the dinner table.

So here it is, Rick Bayless’s incredible Mojo de Ajo, which I used today to spice up an extra-special dish of penne with herbs and roasted mushrooms. It was worth firing up the oven on a near-100-degree day.


Mojo de Ajo
Rick Bayless's Mojo de Ajo
Recipe type: Condiment
Cuisine: Mexican
  • 4 heads of garlic, peeled (place a large chef's knife on each pod of garlic and smack it with the heel of your hand to get the papery skin off more easily)
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  1. Place the garlic in an 8-inch-square glass baking dish and pour the olive oil over it. Add salt and stir well.
  2. Place the dish in a 325-degree oven and bake 45 minutes.
  3. Add the lemon juice and bake for another 20 minutes for the flavors to infuse.
  4. Remove, mash the garlic with a fork or potato masher, cool, and pour it all into an air-tight glass jar. The mojo de ajo keeps for at least three months in a refrigerator.

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  1. says

    Thanks for sharing. I am always on a look out for garlic recipes. A superfood and natural medicinal magic pearls. This one can stay for long I suppose.

  2. says

    wow, that sounds great! I pretty much can’t ever get enough garlic. I haven’t explored Rick Bayless’ recipes, but I have been meaning to… sounds like he has so many great ideas. thanks for sharing this!

  3. says


    I love Rick Bayless’s program, Mexico, one plate a time. Although I do not get to see much lately. This recipe I did not know.

    I love garlic, onions and all, so this might be just yummy enough to make it for me. Thanks for sharing.

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