Aioli is a kind of garlic mayonnaise sauce from the south of France. It is a great accompaniment for grilled fish, crab, shrimp, poached fish, and all sorts of vegetables. In small towns in the south of France you can find yearly festivals known as “la fête de la grande aioli.” Here the aioli is much more than a garlic mayonnaise: It is a party for the whole village, and huge platters of boiled vegetables, fish, and hard-boiled eggs are served, along with gallons of aioli. All the people get together to dance, drink wine, and enjoy.
You can make this recipe the traditional way with just olive oil, or substitute your favorite vegetable oil for part of the olive oil. (I like it 50 percent olive oil and 50 percent vegetable oil myself.) The garlic in this is potent. Start with one clove and be sure to remove the germ in the center of the garlic, which can be difficult to digest. (In other words, it’s what gives you bad breath!) You can also play around with this recipe by adding some hot sauce, mustard, chopped herbs, or anything else that strikes your fancy. Remember—you are the chef!
• 2 egg yolks
• 2 cloves of garlic
• Salt and pepper
• Cup of olive oil (or half veggie oil, half olive oil)
• A few drops of lemon juice
(The most important thing about this recipe is to have all your ingredients at the same temperature before making this sauce. The best way is to take everything out of your fridge about an hour beforehand.) Take a mortar and crush the garlic into a fine paste. Season with salt and pepper, and then add the egg yolks. Whisk in the olive oil, slowly and gradually, like you would for mayonnaise. Finally, add few drops of lemon juice. Add a teaspoon of warm water to your aioli at the end, to keep it from splitting.
Although born in Dublin, Ireland, chef Jean Doherty spent most of her life in Lyon, France, the gastronomical capital of the world. Together with Vero, her partner of 25 years, Jean has owned and run multiple restaurants including Fort Lauderdale’s Le Patio.