Le Grand Aioli
This French dish featuring Aioli garlic sauce is traditionally served on special occasions such as a family picnic or New Year's Eve.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 4–6
- 1 pound salted cod
- 1 pound green beans
- 4 medium beets
- 1 pound mussels
- 4 red-skinned potatoes
- 8 hard-boiled eggs
- 1 cup baby carrots
The day before serving the meal, place the salted cod in cold water. Soak for 24 hours, changing the water several times.
One hour before the meal is to be served, preheat the oven to 350°F. Wrap the beets in foil and bake for 1 hour, or until the beets are tender.
Blanch the remaining vegetables in boiling salted water. Begin with the potatoes. When they are nearly tender, add the carrots and green beans. Peel and julienne the carrots. Cut the potatoes into bite-sized chunks.
Poach the cod in boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain thoroughly and break into pieces. Rinse the mussels under cold water, scrubbing the shells with a stiff brush. Poach in boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly. Peel the hard-boiled eggs and cut into halves.
To serve, place the Aioli in a cheese fondue serving dish. Arrange the vegetables on a serving platter. Place the hard-boiled eggs on top. Serve the cod and mussels on another platter. Use dipping forks to spear the vegetables and seafood and dip into the aioli.
Aioli is believed to have originated in the French region of Provence, where a lack of grazing land for cows meant that residents had to find an alternative to butter. The word aioli is a combination of the French words for garlic and oil. Like mayonnaise, aioli is made by whisking oil with egg yolks until the mixture emulsifies. Aromatic garlic adds a distinctive taste.