September 2, 2015

Niçoise Aioli

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Mediterranean Salade Niçoise is my inspiration for this irresistible aioli. The recipe is yet another riff on fast, fluffy, fuss-free, foolproof Minute Mayo. (Link: How to make the best homemade mayonnaise and aioli.).

1 large egg, at room temperature
2 each: pressed or minced garlic cloves, chopped anchovy fillets
1 tbsp (15 mL) capers, drained, patted dry
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1 tsp (5 mL) tomato paste
1/2 tsp (2 mL) kosher or sea salt
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) ground white pepper
1 cup (250 mL) canola oil

In this order, add egg, garlic, anchovies, capers, lemon juice, tomato paste, salt, pepper and oil to tall, narrow beaker. Place blade of immersion blender over yolk, touching bottom of beaker. Turn on blender. Once streaks of mayonnaise appear at bottom of beaker, slowly pull blender upwards until ingredients emulsify into thick,  creamy aioli. Stir in any remaining small streaks of oil.

Use immediately. Or transfer to storage tub, cover and refrigerate.

Makes 1-1/4 cups (300 mL).

• Immersion blenders are usually sold with their own beakers. If you don’t have a beaker, try a tall mason jar.
• For best results, all the ingredients should be at room temperature. You can crack the egg into the beaker and let it acclimatize before adding the remaining ingredients, particularly the acidic lemon juice.
• You can use any neutral, refined oil. Avoid extra virgin olive oil, which turns bitter when vigorously whipped. (Why? See "Avoid Bitter Disappointment" in my Minute Mayo blog.)
• My immersion blender has 3 speeds. The lowest speed works fine for this recipe.
• You can store homemade mayonnaise in the fridge up to 4 days.

Lazy Niçoise Aioli
Homemade Minute Mayo is so miraculously quick and luscious, it would be a shame to substitute commercial mayonnaise. However, you could do so as a shortcut: Start with 1-1/4 cups (300 mL) mayonnaise. Full-fat mayo works best in this recipe because it is thicker, but lower-fat mayonnaise is an option for calorie-counters. In small bowl, combine garlic, mashed anchovies, chopped capers, tomato paste and pepper, using fork. Stir into mayonnaise. Add more lemon juice to taste, as commercial mayonnaise is blander than homemade Minute Mayo. Add salt to taste.

Credit: Susan Sampson
Tested in Imperial