AIOLI, the “butter” of Provence, is found in every restaurant in the south of France. The region, which traditionally is not known for its dairy products, uses this strong garlic mayonnaise instead of butter in many instances. Spread on bread and lightly toasted, it makes wonderful garlic bread. It can be used as a dip for raw vegetables, or be spread on a piece of fish and broiled, and it is a must to serve with Mediterranean Fish Soup or American Bouillabaisse.
The sauce is easily made in a blender, by first puréeing the garlic and then adding the yolk, salt, and oil, and thinning it in the end with lemon juice. Note that I use extra-virgin olive oil for its heightened flavor, which reminds me of Provence.