People in the south of France love garlic, and so do I.
In the southeast of the country, towards Italy and the old Savoy region, they make Aïoli which is the name of a condiment and a meal. Towards the Pyrenees mountains, closer to Spain and in the former Catalonia principality, it is called Allioli.
Basically, it is raw garlic with olive oil. But there are some finer variations.
In the provence, there is also the Grand Aïoli which is a meal with cooked fish, seafood, vegetables and large dollops of the sauce.
After spending some days in the French catalan region and the Mediterranean coast in the Roussillon, I bought some books with local recipes.
There I found a bare-bone Allioli recipe which is simple to make. I had a rather large head of garlic and my sauce was rather strong, so if you do not like garlic that very much then reduce the number of cloves.
The basic egg-less Allioli can be kept for several days in a refrigerator, with eggs the sauce needs to be fresh. In the French catalan regions, they also have a variety with quinces.
- One head of garlic
- One dl of olive oil
- Some rock salt
- Optional; two egg yolks
- Peel the garlic and chop the cloves.
- Put them with some rock salt in a mortar and pound the mixture to a paste with a pestle.
- While whisking, add the oil slowly either to the mortar, if big enough, or put the garlic paste in a bowl.
- In the end, whisk vigorously to get a uniform sauce, or use a plunger blender.