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
- 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
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.