Garlic mayo dressing

The standard Anglo-Saxon has great trouble with garlic. He fears social isolation as the inevitable consequence of even one tiny scrap of this marvellous bulb. If you or your friends fall into this category of flat-earth diners, stop reading right now and skip to the golf page or maybe the Hitching Post.

For the rest of us, secure in our sense of urbane wellbeing, aoli is a truly marvellous enhancement of the standard mayonnaise model, being home to nothing less than six to eight high-octane cloves of garlic.

To make a batch of garlic dressing (aioli) you will need:

  • 1 lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of coarse mustard such as Dijon
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 to 8 cloves of garlic

Once upon a time, when all the world was new and the mighty pterodactyls filled the sky, cavewomen used to make this stuff with a whisk of branches and two mighty forearms. Mixing oil and water to make an emulsion is, was and always shall be, a daunting task. But now that we have the miracle of electricity, food processors are here to help. Of course, the issue isn’t just one of effort, but of consistency.

The food processor has the edge over manual methods in that it sustains regular revs, so allowing the emulsion to form. Or so I foolishly believed. My first two efforts produced puddles of expensive slime, which went straight down the drain. The secret, I discovered, was to have all ingredients without exception at room temperature. And you’re going to have to make a cost-related decision – are you going to risk using expensive olive oil, or make your first batch with canola or sunflower oil?

There will be some sacrifice in flavour, of course, but apart from this, the choice is entirely yours. Okay, moving on. Squeeze the lemon and reserve the strained (pip-free) juice. Hard boil two of the eggs and allow them to cool to room temperature. Separate and reserve the yolks of the hard boiled eggs and the single raw egg. Now for the garlic. Choose the freshest cloves you can find, free of sprouts. Peel them by crushing each clove with the flat of a heavy knife.

This will allow the quick and easy removal of the husks. Put the peeled garlic cloves plus a ¼ teaspoon of salt in the food processor and reduce the contents to a paste. Add the yolks of the two hard boiled eggs and one raw egg and rev up the food processor until everything combines into a smooth paste. Now for the highly skilled bit… set the food processor to its highest revs and through the port in the lid, add a little extra virgin olive oil, about one teaspoonful.

Then add the remainder of the olive oil, pouring in a very thin, very steady stream. This process allows the emulsion to form and prevents separation. As soon as all the oil has been added, with the machine still on maximum revs, add the lemon juice, a little at a time. You should now have a dense, creamy, mayonnaise-looking sauce. Stir in a level tablespoon of coarse mustard and adjust the seasoning to taste. Aioli is an exceptionally fine sauce for eggs and salads. Just remember that garlic sauces mature over time, so always make this fresh.