There is a running argument regarding the origins of aïoli,whether or not it belongs to Spain, Catalonia, Roussillon, the Vaucluse, Carmargue, Côted’Azur or Haute Provence, but it has had a place on the tables of all these areas for generations. Without a doubt the home of the “grand aïoli” is in Provence

What is aïoli?
Traditionally aïoli was a mix of a bukb of garlic to 250-300ml of olive oil mixed to a paste with a pestle and mortar,then seasoned with a pinch of salt and a few drops of lemon juice.

An adapted version :
10 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 egg yolks
250ml olive oil
2tsp lemon juice
Black pepper

With ingredients at room temperature, peel the garlic and pound with salt, then mix throroughly with the egg yolks
Add the oil in a thinstream stirring constantly until the mixture emulsifies.
Then stir in the lemon juice and season with pepper.

The Provençal Grand Aïoli
Traditionally this was on the menu in times of fasting, but no longer- it is now a feast and on many menus as a regional speciality.

The aïoli itself is the most important ingredient accompanied by a variety of vegetables- artichokes, courgetters, celery, carrots, mangetout,broad beans, turnips, fennel, brocolli, potatoes or anything else that might be in season. These vegetables are served with boiled eggs, fish ( traditionally this was dried cod), possibly perizinkles and sometimes boiled lamb or beef

For a Jamie Oliver twist on aïoli, click here

Le grand aioli
Aioli is very straightforward to make, with much of the preparation done in advance, and suits being served hot or tepid. Ideal whatever the weather
Lindsey Bareham

Le Grand Aioli

* Recipe by Marie Bousquet

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