For the Easter party I go to every year, I’m the designated aioli maker. In case you’re not familiar with the stuff, aioli is the French name for mayonnaise (homemade, in my case) with garlic (lots of it, in my case!) blended in.
I’ve been making the stuff for decades. In fact, I managed to launch my culinary career on the strength of an aioli recipe, when I won the Gilroy Garlic Festival recipe contest with “Artichokes alla Rosina.” It featured an *uber*-garlicky basil aioli alongside artichokes cooked with whole heads of garlic (!)
These days, especially for my Easter aioli, I raid my rosemary plants. I grow a special variety, btw, “Majorca Pink,” which has pretty, pink-purple blossoms (click for pic).
Its aroma and flavor are more floral and less “piney” than the standard sort, and thanks to their Spring growth spurt, the plants always need a bit of a haircut around Easter.
I usually put together my aioli on Easter eve, so the flavors can blend together overnight. It makes a luscious (and addictive) dip for our traditional ham and asparagus, and I always make extra for the week to come.
Here’s my recipe, plus a few pix of the process (and processor!):
ROSINA’S ROSEMARY AIOLI:
(the pix show the plain version, without rosemary)
2 egg yolks
2 Tbl lemon juice
1 Tbl Dijon(-style) mustard
4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped, or to taste (I use *lots* more!)
1 to 2 Tbl fresh rosemary “needles,” chopped
1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
About 2 cups olive oil (mild-flavored olive oils work best)
Add everything but the olive oil to a blender or food processor, and blend on the lowest setting.
When the mixture becomes smooth and lemon-colored, with the blender still running, begin adding the olive oil through the opening in the cover *in a very thin stream*.
You’re aiming for a consistency that’s thicker than standard mayonnaise. The key to success? Adding the olive oil slooowly. (You’re making an oil-in-water emulsion ~ my fellow science geeks can click for more info ~ forming tiny droplets that thicken it and give it body.
Taste your aioli a few times along the way, and add salt (and/or more garlic!) if necessary. That’s all there is to it!
When aioli is thick enough, spoon it into a serving or storage container, and enjoy!
I’ll follow up over the next few days with pix from the Easter party, plus some of the meals I’ll be enjoying this week with my “plan-ahead” aioli.
Enjoy ~ and please let me know how *your* aioli turned out!
As always, my friend,
Cheers and warmest wishes,
PS ~ Almost forgot! I promised you eggs in the nest…
Jenny and Jack are working on a new family! My resident mourning doves, who nest in a hanging plant outside my front door, settled in today to start their next brood.They’ve already said farewell to their first pair of “Vintage 2014″ chicks, and they’ve been, um, “billing and cooing” a lot since the kids flew off.
Sure sign of more eggs to come…
Oh, btw ~ Would you like to join my (free) “Drink Wine With Dinner® Club,” and get in on all the fun and flavor?
Easy! Just head to the handy “Sign Up Now” box (above right) and fill in the blanks.
See you “on the inside”!!!
Cheers once again,