The Provençal French aioli - and the original Catalan alioli - needs warm sunshine, garlic and olive oil. Eaten outdoors with the sun on your back and cool wine in your glass, aioli becomes much more than just a garlicky mayonnaise. Serve with a bowl of small, steamed potatoes for lunch, or on top of char-grilled vegetables or salmon for dinner.
Crush garlic and sea salt in a mortar until mushy. Beat in the egg yolks until you have a creamy paste. Add the olive oil, drop by drop from a teaspoon, beating constantly, until you have a thickened paste. Beat in the lemon juice. Continue to add olive oil, as you continue to beat, until all the oil is absorbed and emulsified. Add extra lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. (If aioli is too thick, beat in a tablespoon of warm water.)
P.S. If the aioli separates, place an extra egg yolk in a clean, dry bowl and beat in a spoonful of the aioli. Continue beating and adding aioli until it has regained its equilibrium.
© 1998 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.