There was nothing grand about my aioli tonight, if it could even qualify as aioli at all.
I’d planned out which of the fresh markets I’d stop by for the produce, picking up local green beans that looked like they were freshly picked from someone’s back yard (the best!), fingerling potatoes, radishes, carrot, and red pepper. At home, I had cucumbers from my uncle’s garden and garlic from my Dad’s garden. All I needed were some fresh eggs, which I picked up at the organic grocery store.
I boiled some of the fingerlings and roasted the rest. I blanched the beans, then sliced the rest of the vegetables. I pulverized the minced garlic with salt in my mortar and pestle, then went to get the oil. I’d forgotten that I had only a few tablespoons of olive oil left and not much more grapeseed oil. Even though I’d planned to make only a portion of the recipe of aioli, this wouldn’t work.
My Plan B wasn’t much better – I managed to scrape about a tablespoon of mayonnaise from a nearly empty jar and mixed it with an alarming amount of the pulverized garlic, along with a bit of olive oil. Surprisingly, that tiny amount of very garlicky mayonnaise was enough. And even more surprisingly, it was a delicious addition to dinner. The only other accompaniment it needed (besides a little white wine) was homemade French bread from Mardi’s recipe.
Here’s to the power of peak of the season vegetables, home grown garlic, and very good bread.
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9 thoughts on “Cook the Book Fridays – Le Grand Aioli”
No one’s aioli emulsified, so you were in good (though frustrated) company. We are a group of experienced cooks by now, with at least a few rounds of mayo under our belts. Clearly this was a recipe problem, not a cook problem. Beautiful veggies though.
I think I’ll stick with my usual recipe for mayonnaise/aioli. The vegetables (and fruits) in the markets right now are SO good!
Oh my goodness, Teresa, based on what I’ve read, you just took a shortcut to the Aioli that everyone resorted to.
But your veggies!!! They just look gorgeous! AND, I’ve been meaning to make something from Mardi’s book, plus thinking of baking some bread since it’s finally cooling down. You’ve convinced me!!
Do try the bread – it’s so easy to put together and really delicious.
This is one more reason to keep mayonnaise, which I don’t use often, in the fridge. A perfect emulsifier when you need it. The garlicky mayonnaise surely elevates the peak-season vegetables. Yours look so enticing.
I always buy the smallest jar I can find, as I don’t use it often (or in quantity when I do). So, I was caught off guard when the jar was nearly empty!
I also recently started to have (really good quality, small jar) mayo on hand and I was glad I did for this week’s recipe! Your version of the bread looks amazing! Thank you so much 🙂
I think it’s useful to have some on hand, especially since I don’t use that much that often. I find when I make it myself, a lot goes to waste. I’m so glad you like the look of the bread. I had to get out of my sourdough boule mindset and get into baguette-shaping mode!
It’s so interesting that all of us struggled with this recipe, yet we all enjoyed the resulting meal. I am sure the fresh summer vegetables had more to do with that than the aioli. I admit to chuckling out loud at your scraping the last of the mayo out of the jar since I had to do the same thing.