This sauce evokes Provence at its productive best, in summer, when
farms and family gardens are at their peak production, yielding vegetables
with an incomparable depth of flavor.
Note: be sure all of your ingredients, and the bowl or mortar you are
working with, are at room temperature. Differing temperatures can cause
the aïoli to separate. When making aïoli – or any mayonnaise-like sauce -
think slow, slow, slow. There is a simple remedy for separated aïoli. Put
an egg yolk in another bowl, and slowly whisk the separated aïoli into it.
Makes about 6 servings.
- 8 garlic cloves, green germ removed
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons dijon-style mustard
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 to 1-1/4cups (250-325ml) light, fruity olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) warm water
- 4-1/2 teaspoons (22ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
DIRECTIONS 1.Make a paste of the garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle, by working
the pestle around slowly, always in the same direction, in the mortar.If
you don’t have a mortar and pestle, either finely mince the garlic with the
salt, transfer it to a medium-sized bowl and press on it with a wooden
spoon until it makes a rough paste, or simply mince the garlic and salt
together in a food processor.
2.If you used a food processor to mince the garlic and salt together,
transfer the mixture to a medium-sized bowl. Whisk in the mustard, then
the egg yolks until blended with the garlic and salt then, using either the
mortar or a whisk, add 1/4 cup (60ml) of the oil very slowly in a fine,
fine stream, until the mixture becomes thick.Don’t add the oil too
quickly or the mixture will not emulsify.
3.Add the lemon juice and the water to the olive oil and garlic mixture,
then add the remaining oil very, very slowly, whisking or turning the
pestle constantly.The aïoli will gradually thicken to the consistency of
a light mayonnaise.If it becomes very thick, like a commercial
mayonnaise, add additional warm water, a teaspoon at a time, until it is
the consistency you like. Generally, however, you shouldn’t need to add any
4.Taste for seasoning, and adjust with salt if necessary.Aïoli will
keep for several days in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, but it
is best served within 24 hours of being made.