Aïoli 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 Aïoli 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 Aïoli.

The most traditional way of eating aïoli 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 Paëlla, especially a seafood paëlla

As with most traditional and regional dishes – there are as many variations of aïoli 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 purée 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

Serves 6


 Ingredients :

For the Aïoli

6 Cloves of Garlic

2 Egg yolks

1 tbsp Freshly squeezed lemon juice

35 cl Good Olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

Sea salt 


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

700g Courgettes

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


Directions :

For the Aïoli

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 Рheat some olive oil in a frying pan, gradually add the squid and fry gently until tender Рabout 10 to 15 minutes. Cook the potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, courgettes until tender but still al dent̩ 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 Aïoli 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 Rosé de Provence, a Bandol, A Fitou red, or a White wine from Languedoc.

Bon Appétit !

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