Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature and the garlic cloves are firm and crisp.
Peel the garlic cloves and crush them through a press into the mortar. Pound with the pestle, sprinkle with salt and pound some more—after a few minutes the garlic should turn into a paste. Add the yolks (the mixture will become sticky). Add the oil slowly, stirring constantly as in making mayonnaise. When the sauce is firm, add the saffron, cayenne pepper, and salt to taste. If you find it too heavy, add the juice of half a lemon before serving and stir.
This sauce can be kept for 24 hours in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap.
© 1990 Mireille Johnston estate. All rights reserved.