Ilove aïoli garni! The sauce they serve with this dish is called aïoli, and you can use it for many other dishes besides aïoli garni.
For the aïoli sauce you’ll need:
- 2 large garlic cloves per person (peeled and the pit removed)
- 1 egg yolk per person
- 1 pinch of salt per person
- lemon juice from 1 lemon
- good quality olive oil (huile d’olive vièrge)
Crush the garlic in a mortar until it is reduced into a pulp. Then add the egg yolk and a pinch of salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until the eggs and garlic pulp becomes one pulp. Then very slowly add the olive oil (at first drop by drop) while constantly stirring. I normally do this in a deep plate and use a fork to blend the pulp with the oil, turning in the same direction all the time. The aïoli will start to thicken just like mayonnaise. Then add a bit of the lemon juice. Then add some more oil bit by bit. When it starts to thicken again, add a bit of more lemon juice. Then add again some more oil. The aïoli should become practically solid.
If the aïoli should separate: In a separate bowl, or deep plate, put an egg yolk together with some drops of lemon juice and mix together. Then add slowly spoon by spoon the separated sauce while stirring it with a wooden spoon or a fork (I use a fork) until it is firm again. This method always works. In France they call it: ” relever l’aïoli”.
An aïoli for 7 or 8 people absorbs around a half liter of olive oil
Now for the Aïoli Garni
For a traditional you’ll need cooked “morue” (salt cod) and escargots ( of course you can use cooked cod or shrimp as well), cooked carrots (whole), potatoes boiled in their skin, artichokes (steamed), green beans, hard boiled eggs, or any other veggie which goes well with the aïoli. You put the fish, the eggs, the potatoes and the other vegetables on a a large plate. The aïoli you serve separately in a bowl or in a mortar. Every diner, takes what they want on their plate and add the sauce. A good baguette with this dish and you’re ready for a feast! If a guest finds the aïoli too garlicky, give him or her a glass of cognac in the middle of the meal. It does wonders