BLT Sandwich with Espresso Aioli

I’m a very enthusiastic fan of espresso so when I saw the words “espresso aioli” casually fly by when flipping through Saveur magazine I stopped in my tracks, ripped out the page and immediately ran into the kitchen to make it.

BLT Sandwich with Espresso Aioli Recipe

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Now, after reading a recipe I generally have at least a vague idea of what the food will taste like but not this time. I could absolutely not imagine the flavor of espresso aioli and I’m guessing you can’t either, so let me explain. The texture of this aioli is very creamy and velvety. It has a deep, earthy taste as well as a bitterness that is surprisingly pleasant. The espresso comes through strongly but only toward the end. It certainly tasted interesting and I liked it a lot.

I drizzled the aioli onto a bacon, lettuce and tomato bagel here and it worked perfectly in that but feel free to substitute your bread of choice. Let me know what you think if you try it! :)


BLT Sandwich with Espresso Aioli Recipe

serves 4


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • half a shot of espresso (1.5 tablespoons)
  • bread
  • tomato
  • bacon (baked until crispy)
  • lettuce


  1. Head on over to Saveur for instructions as to how to make the aioli.
  2. Assemble bread, lettuce, tomato and bacon into a sandwich and drizzle the aioli over the bacon.


Food Photography and Styling: This aioli is somewhat runny so I assembled the bagel without it first, put it in the set and fine-tuned the lighting and the propping. When that was all ready I drizzled the aioli on and was lucky that it ran and pooled a little bit but then stayed put. In retrospect I really don’t like the fact that you can see the bacon only on one side of the bagel and that it’s completely covered in aioli on the other. It would have been better if I had stuffed another little piece in on the camera-left side. Alas, I didn’t notice that when I was shooting and of course now it’s too late… I sprinkled some crumbs onto the wood box that I used as a surface to make the scene look realistic and placed a knife next to the sandwich to imply that someone had just cut the bagel in half with it. As I very often do, I lit this photo from the side with my strobe.

Nikon D600, 105mm, f/8, 1/125 sec., ISO 100. One Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 Monolight, 35″ x 58″ Softbox.


    • Nicole B. says:

      Thank you, Kevin! I’ve so far only tried this aioli on the BLT but I think it could work on all kinds of things, maybe even french fries! :)

  1. Nagi@RecipeTinEats says:

    I’m so glad you explained the flavour of this because I couldn’t imagine it either!! I’m like you, usually I can “read” a recipe and imagine the taste and textures.

    You have me very curious! I will try it this weekend. I actually have “fully loaded breakfast burger” written on my “things to blog” list, thinking this would go perfectly!! :)

    PS Couldn’t Clone to show more of the bacon on the left? He he! I probably would have tried!! Little obsessed with that tool!

    • Nicole B. says:

      “Fully loaded”? I love it! (I tried the clone stamp and the patch tool but you could definitely tell if you looked closely…:)).

  2. Denise | Sweet Peas & Saffron says:

    Espresso aioli is officially on my list of things to try…I’m completely intrigued! I love reading your photography tips! I just photographhed a grilled cheese on the week-end and was such a stress case and it totally didn’t end up how I wanted.

  3. Shinee says:

    Espresso aioli, huh? Sounds quite interesting, will have to check it out. The sandwich looks tasty, and don’t we all have that moment when editing photos. ;)

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