I happened to be working the lunch shift at Lucques the day of my friend Dana’s birthday party. I had been asked to bring a vegetable side dish involving aioli and the theme of the dinner party was “Southern French.” I asked around to see if anyone knew what I could make. The day manager on duty suggested I make traditional Provencal steamed vegetables with aioli. I’d never heard of such a thing. But it sounded intriguing. The following recipe is my take on various aioli recipes I found. I don’t have a mortar and pestle so I used a garlic press and opted to use my food processor instead of whisking my arm into a painful cramp.
Aside from all of the chopping, this is a quick and easy dish to make. The aioli was a dazzling hit at Dana’s birthday dinner. It can be made as a condiment for many other things such as sandwiches, burgers and fish cakes.
Aïoli with Steamed Vegetables
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 4 large garlic clove
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp Cayenne
- 4 red-skinned potatoes, steamed then halved
- 4 carrots, cut into sticks and steamed
- 2 zucchini, sliced and steamed
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced and steamed
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets and steamed
- ¼ lb green beans, steamed
- 6 hard-boiled eggs, shelled, each cut in half
Mash garlic through garlic press. Transfer garlic and dash of salt to food processor.
Whisk 6 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, egg yolks in small bowl. Transfer mixture to processor with garlic. With machine running, gradually add remaining 3/4 cup oil in thin steady stream and blend until thick (if oil is added too quickly, mayonnaise will separate and become runny). Season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Transfer to small bowl. (Aïoli can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
Place bowl of aïoli on platter. Surround with vegetables and eggs.