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    Aioli with Spring Vegetables

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    Aioli with Spring Vegetables

    The 'butter of Provence', this garlicky mayonnaise is served with anything and everything in southern France, but is best appreciated with new season's vegetables. Add hard-boiled eggs and charcuterie to make a light lunch.

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes for the aïoli, 10-20 for vegetables
    • Cooking time: Up to 40 minutes for the vegetables
    • Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes 60 minutes 15 minutes

    Serves: 6

    Ingredients

    • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
    • Coarse salt
    • 3 egg yolks, at room temp
    • 900ml mild olive oil, at room temperature
    • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
    • Vegetables (choose any combination,or just one or two)
    • New potatoes, scrubbed
    • Baby beetroots (shred the leaves and cook like spinach)
    • Asparagus, trimmed
    • Small courgettes, sliced lengthways
    • Small artichokes, quartered
    • Young green beans, topped and tailed

    Method

    1. Crush the garlic to a paste with a little coarse salt, using the flat of a knife, or a pestle and mortar. Transfer to a large bowl.
    2. With a wooden spoon or a whisk, beat the yolks with the garlic. Then add a little of the oil in a thin trickle, beating continuously. When the mixture starts to thicken, begin to add the oil in a thin, steady stream. Beat all the while, diluting occasionally with a little lemon juice. Continue until it's as thick as soft butter. You may not need all the oil. If the mixture splits into oil and solids, work a splash of boiling water into one corner of the mix. Once a little has re-emulsified, the rest should follow. If that fails, start again with a new yolk, adding the split mix slowly as if it were fresh oil. Set the aïoli aside.
    3. Cook the vegetables individually in boiling salted water. Baby beets take 30-40 minutes, new potatoes 15-18, artichokes 10-12, asparagus 5-6, courgettes and beans 3-4. Drain, and serve at room temperature with the aïoli.

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