Roasted Garlic Aioli and Steamed Artichokes

Earlier today in the From Away test kitchen, one of us was vivisecting a savory toaster strudel, whilst the other was making aioli. I am feeling French and virtuous, while my collaborator has insides coated in Pillsbury goo. More on that later. We’ve been conducting condiment experiments lately and have both independently observed (that’s how you know it’s science) that growing up eating Hellman’s brand mayonnaise and Heinz ketchup, the homemade versions at first appear strange, like a handmade sweater Aunt Gert knit instead of the sweet Jordache one from JC Penney. But the more we buy food from farms and make things from scratch, the less we expect visual perfection and appreciate non-homogeneous beauty. The aioli I made was not gleaming white, nor was it completely smooth. But the process is satisfying, whisking work and the result pleasing.

I followed Laura Calder’s recipe, because her show, French Food At Home, is subtly sultry and sun-saturated, with plinky music and clever theming. It was simple to do, but requires a bit of patience, as you painstakingly pour the oil.

Roasted Garlic Aioli

Ingredients

  • 1 room temperature organic egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 roasted clove of garlic (wrapped in foil, 1 hour in a 350 oven)
  • salt, pepper, lemon juice
  •  

Method

Separate the egg yolk, then incorporate vingear and mustard. Very, very slowly, pour in the oil while whisking the mixture until it thickens. Amalgamate the cool, softened garlic. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.

Overachieving Canadian Laura Calder has a super complicated method of pruning, preparing and ultimately, frying artichokes. I am far too lazy for this and sussed out an easier way. Richard Blais keeps it dead simple (and adorable!) in the most recent issue of Food & Wine, but I followed Simply Recipes’ instructions, because they are always clearly stated, rigorously researched and tested.

This dinner makes me wish I had a garden, or lived in the South of France, or the Anthropologie catalog.

Everything should be dipped in aioli. Radishes, mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers, endive, pretzels, Carr’s rosemary crackers, grandmas, sliced turkey, stuffed rabbits, Crunch bars, paper dolls, index fingers, sourdough bread, Big Macs, nectarines, submarines, striped bass, lava lamps, tangrams, unicycles, and Chinese food. Everything.

Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.

1 Comment

  1. Oooh, artichokes! Artichokes have been in the pantheon of my favorite foods for as long as I can remember.

    I was eyeballing some artichokes in The Big Grocery Store last week. The Fella urged “Get them!”, but I didn’t. I am only now realizing that he was probably perplexed by my response: “No, I only buy them when I can see if they squeak.”

    By which I mean, of course, I don’t buy packaged artichokes, only loose ones, so I can give them the barest little squeeze and see if they are fresh (firm, resistant, and faintly squeaky) or old (flabby, soft, and silent).

    I’ve almost always served them with a tiny dish of melted butter (mine usually sits all-but-ignored, because plain artichoke is flavorful enough!) but now that I have access to my sister’s chicken’s super-fresh eggs, maybe an aioli is in order.

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