AÃ¯oli is the traditional emulsion, similar to a Mayonnaise, from Provence, although it can be found all along the Mediterranean coast from Barcelona to Italy. The traditional AÃ¯oli is made from garlic, pounded with olive oil – but most versions use an egg yolk and lemon juice to bind the liquid into a thick emulsion.
Purists would refer to this more of a garlic mayonnaise than a true AÃ¯oli.
The most traditional way of eating aÃ¯oli is with boiled salt cod (Morue) and boiled vegetables – the Catalane version is served on toasted bread with tomatoes, the Valencian version is eaten with PaÃ«lla, especially a seafood paÃ«lla
As with most traditional and regional dishes – there are as many variations of aÃ¯oli as there towns and villages where it is eaten with a consistency going from almost like a blancmange to a traditional mayonnaise.
Of course if you dont have a mortar and pestle you can get away with crushing the garlic into a purÃ©e and adding to a home-made Mayonnaise – but don’t ever tell any French person that I told you this.
Level : *****
Preparation Time : 40 minutes
Cooking Time : 25 – 40 minutes
Â Ingredients :
For the AÃ¯oli
6 Cloves of Garlic
2 Egg yolks
1 tbsp Freshly squeezed lemon juice
35 cl Good Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
For the garniture
500 g Squid, cleaned, cut into pieces
5cl Olive oil
1 kg New Potatoes (try violet potatoes for extra wow factor)
500g runner or French green beans
2 Red peppers – cut into strips
500g Cauliflower, cut into florets
500g young whole carrots
1.2 kg Salt cod (if you cannot get this you could use Fresh cod)
130g tin of Chick Peas
8 hard boiled eggs
1 bouquet garnie
1 cube of court bouillon
30cl White wine
For the AÃ¯oli
Peel and cut the garlic cloves lengthways, remove the shoot from the middle crush in a large mortar and pestle, add the egg yolks and the salt gradually, still turning the pestle, add the oil gradually whilst still turning the mix with the pestle until a thick mixture like a stiff mayonnaise is achieved. Add the lemon juice
For the Garniture
Quickly blanch the squid in boiling water for 10 minutes, remove and pat dry on kitchen paper – heat some olive oil in a frying pan, gradually add the squid and fry gently until tender – about 10 to 15 minutes. Cook the potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, courgettes until tender but still al dentÃ© in separate saucepans.
Gently poach the cod on a gentle heat in the water, with the white wine, bouquet garnie and the court bouillon cube for about 10 minutes – ensure that it is cooked, but remains firm.
Cut the hard-boiled eggs in two – drain all of the vegetables and the cod, heat the chick peas, put the AÃ¯oli in a bowl in the centre of a large serving tray, arrange the vegetables around the bowl with the cod.
Eat with fresh Pain de Campagne and serve with a RosÃ© de Provence, a Bandol, A Fitou red, or a White wine from Languedoc.
Bon AppÃ©tit !