Aioli – You’ll Never Look at Mayo the Same Way Again

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The ex-boyfriend was?always waxing poetic about France. The fact that he spoke endlessly?about his dream to live in Italy is in stark contrast to his love of and connection to French wine and food. He did make me dream.

I used to imagine wandering arm in arm with him down the promenades on the C?te d’Azur in the summertime. Caf? tables with views of blue waters are lined with platters of crudit? and the long sexy necks of pink wine bottles peak out of ice buckets dripping with condensation. Romance is heavy in the air.?And served alongside each delicious platter of crudite is a generous side of aioli.

Aioli hails from the Proven?al region of southern France. But first things first, we must get one thing straight; aioli is NOT mayonnaise. It may resemble mayonnaise in both looks and taste, but aioli (from the Latin for garlic oil) is actually more like mayo?s classic and much more exotic euro-cousin, and it?s far more versatile too. Yes it?s true, aioli will still be delicious on your BLT, but this topping is at its best when served alongside fried salt cod, crudit?, boiled eggs and most certainly with a bottle of dry ros?.

And though you can utilize current technology to whip up a quick batch of aioli in a food processor, traditionally this rich sauce is made the old fashioned way, by hand with a mortar and pestle. Technique aside, the main ingredients that distinguish aioli from its American counterpart is the use of garlic paste and fruity olive oil rather than a bland canola.

A dependable topping for meat and a savory dip for vegetables, aioli is also well-suited for dairy-free and Paleo diets. The addition of different herbs and spices will result in a complete change in the sauce?s personality. Try chopped fresh tarragon for more of a bernaise-style topping on your filet, mix in cumin for a South American feel to your flat iron steak, or use minced chipotle peppers for a real kick on potato fritters, steamed artichokes or just about anything you can think up.

Despite the difficulty in spelling, aioli is quite easy to make. In fact, you may find you?ll never want to buy a jar of Hellmans again.

Aioli Recipe:

3 small cloves of garlic mashed into a paste
Juice of half a lemon
1 egg yolk
? t cold water
Salt to taste
? cup of good olive oil
Optional – Dijon mustard, tarragon, chipotle peppers or other herbs and spices

Preparation:
1. Whisk garlic paste, egg yolk and salt in a mortar and pestle or small food processor.
2. Add half of the oil in very thin stream until it emulsifies.
3. Incorporate water and lemon juice, then slowly add the remaining oil.
4. Add optional herbs, spices or experiment with other ingredients that inspire and excite you.

Aioli can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Classic Old World Ros?:

Domaines Ott Chateau Romasson Bandol Ros?
Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge

New World Ros?:

Colene Clemens 2013 Ros? of Pinot Noir
J.K. Carrier 2013 Glass White Pinot Noir
Alexana Ros? of Pinot Noir
Abacela Grenache Ros

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