Mojo de Ajo, which apparently translates into a bath of garlic (I wouldn’t really know– I don’t speak any Spanish), 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.
Rick Bayless’s Mojo de Ajo
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
1/2 cup lemon juice
Place the garlic in an 8-inch-square glass baking dish and pour the olive oil over it. Add salt and stir well.
Place the dish in a 325-degree oven and bake 45 minutes.
Add the lemon juice and bake for another 20 minutes for the flavors to infuse.
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.