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This garlic-flavored mayonnaise, called aioli, makes a good sauce for peppers stuffed with rice, tomatoes and corn, and a sprightly yet simple dressing for warm white and green bean salad with tuna. It is also a classic accompaniment to bouillabaisse and can be stirred into a sauce to accompany Spanish patatas bravas.

Just a few tips will make preparing mayonnaise easier. First, be sure all the ingredients are at room temperature. Begin by making an emulsion with the egg yolk, mustard and just 1 Tbs. of the oil, then add the remaining oil very slowly and whisk constantly. Mayonnaise can also be made in a blender or in a small food processor fitted with the metal blade using this same basic method, with the motor running as the oil is added.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup safflower or peanut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Tbs. warm water, if using aioli as
      a sauce

Directions:

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, mustard and 1 Tbs. of the olive oil until an emulsion forms. Combine the remaining olive oil and the safflower oil in a pitcher. Drop by drop, add 2 to 3 Tbs. of the oil to the egg yolk mixture while whisking constantly. Once the mixture has thickened, add the remaining oil in a very fine, steady stream, whisking constantly, until all of it has been incorporated.

Stir in the garlic and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. If using the aioli as a sauce, whisk in the warm water to lighten the aioli and make it barely fluid.
Makes about 1 cup.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Series, Beans & Rice, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1994).