Monday, January 4, 2010

I have a problem

You see, I am an addict. Aioli. I cannot get enough of the stuff. In particular, Wild Wood's Garlic Aioli. Wikipedia's definition of aioli is:

Aioli (Provençal Occitan alhòli[1], Catalan all-i-oli) is a sauce made of garlic and olive oil. Normally egg is also added for ease of mixing. There are many variations, such as the addition of mustard. In Occitan cuisine, aioli is traditionally served with seafood, fish soup, and croutons, in a dish called merluça amb alhòli. In Malta, arjoli or ajjoli is commonly made with the addition of either crushed galletti or tomato. In Australia it is commonly eaten with hot chips. In the Occitan Valleys of Italy it is served with potatoes[2] boiled with salt and bay laurel. It is usually served at room temperature. The name aioli (alhòli) comes from Provençal alh 'garlic' . Aioli is, like mayonnaise, an emulsion or a suspension of small globules of oil and oil soluble compounds in water and water soluble compounds. Egg yolk is a commonly used emulsifier but mustard and garlic both have emulsion-producing properties. Classic aioli is made without egg, though many aioli recipes use it.

About a year ago we were at a party that had the best veggie platter ever. It was gorgeous, delicious and non-traditional. There were roasted Blue Finn potatoes (those beautiful deep blue-ish purple ones), steamed asparagus and roasted golden beets. In the center was a big bowl of- you guessed it- aioli! It was so simple and tasty. I couldn't get enough of it and thus began my search for the perfect aioli recipe to recreate this easy appetizer.

I tried recipes from reputable chefs, which turned out too thick, or too yellow, or too strident, or too whatever. Then one day I was in Andronico's Supermarket and saw this jar in the refrigerated section across from the deli. I went ahead and bought it even though it was like $6 for a jar of what was essentially flavored mayo. And, it was vegan! All the recipes I had tried had eggs. But, the ingredients here were all natural and I decided to give it a chance. Everywhere I take it (with my roasted veggie tray) it gets rave reviews. Lately I've been back in an aioli mood and can't think of anything that wouldn't taste better without it on top. But I've got to stop! It is basically fat I can't stop putting on everything. I would never, in a million years, put a pile of mayo on the side of plate. I've had sweet potato fries almost every day for the last week- just to eat the aioli.

Then I discovered that the co-op grocery store around the corner carries it. I will never again be without. :)