Last week I had a few friends over for a feisty, fun filled evening of cheesemaking – stay tuned here at FSC for a recap! Essential to any good party are good snacks and drinks. We were well sustained with Christine’s super sangria, homemade challah and blackberry goat cheese made by Jillian and fancy olive oil. I made a surprisingly yummy roasted fennel, garlic and white bean dip (fennel isn’t usually on my list of favorites), cherry tomatoes and basil from my CSA with a balsamic vinegar reduction AND aioli made with garlic scapes, which was a bit of an experiment that turned out pretty fantastic!
You see, mayonnaise isn’t really my thing. I do, however, LOVE anything garlicky so taking a shot at making my own aioli was kind of inevitable. Inviting a bunch of foodies over to make more food was reason enough give it a go.
The simplicity of this dish was refreshing and while this version highlights garlic scapes, aioli is so versatile. Garlic is one of the defining flavors although you could really get adventurous and blend in just about anything to your own tastes or culinary objective… I think just about any fresh herb would be awesome – whats growing in your garden?
I started with my trusty food processor and just five ingredients:
Two egg yolks *
Juice of one lemon
1/2 to 3/4 cups olive oil (extra virgin preferable and use the good stuff, you will notice the difference)
Garlic scapes, about a handful
Salt & Pepper to taste (a pinch or two should do it)
First, roughly chop the garlic scapes then give them a few whirls in the food processor until nice and small (no one wants lumpy aioli!).
Next, add the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and pepper but DON’T turn on the blender yet! Get your olive oil ready. When you are ready add the olive oil in a steady, thin stream while pulsing the food processor. As soon as all the olive oil has been added, stop pulsing. You are making an emulsion here, so over mixing can cause it to “break” and separate.
If you’d like to add fresh herbs, chop them finely and gently fold them in at this point.
That’s it! You just made mayonnaise! It really is SO easy and the possibilities are endless. I’m thinking basil (pesto aioli with fresh tomatoes??), fresh parsley or even thyme and sage for a tasty chicken salad?
Homemade aioli, unlike the big vats of mayo at the grocery store, is fresh and is best consumed within a couple of days. Be sure to store in a lidded container and keep refrigerated.
Want to know the best part about this particular batch of aioli? Well, I had to make a second batch after the party so that I could document it (the first batch was made in a wild frenzy while I was also cleaning my normally messy home for guests). I made the second batch at my mother-in-law’s house with fresh garlic scapes! She lives on a small city lot (1/3 acre I’d guess) and has has garlic planted as part of the landscaping in her side yard. The scapes are beautiful and delicious… hope she didn’t mind me helping myself to a few! Want to grow your own garlic too?? Come back here tomorrow for Dianna’s tips!
*please note: consumption of raw eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness