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Wood-Grilled Snap Peas with Smoky Aioli

Here, Chef Barton Seaver calls for sugar snap peas, but feel free to grill up almost any kind of vegetable—green beans, asparagus, young carrots, parsnips, whatever looks good at the market—and serve it with a crock of this smoky mayonnaise on the side. Note: You might be tempted to toss the snap peas with a little oil before grilling them; don’t. If the peas are given even a light coating of oil, the mayonnaise will slip off when you go to dip them. Also, be sure to use farm-fresh eggs for the mayo.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbs. smoked sweet paprika
  • 2 Tbs. fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp. sherry vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 cups canola oil

Directions:

Prepare a small fire in a grill using charcoal and wood chips.

Place the snap peas in a grill basket and set it directly over the heat. Grill until they begin to char and soften, 5 to 7 minutes, tossing them as necessary.

In a blender, combine the egg yolk, paprika, orange juice, vinegar, garlic and a healthy pinch of salt. Puree, making sure that the garlic is well incorporated. With the blender running on low speed, gradually add the oil in a steady stream. Do this very slowly at first to make sure that it is being incorporated. As the sauce begins to come together, you can gradually increase the flow of oil, but have patience; if you add it too quickly, the mayonnaise will break. If the sauce becomes too thick, you can add a few drops of cold water to thin it. Once all the oil is added, adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Place the grilled snap peas next to a crock of the aioli and serve immediately. Any leftover aioli can be refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 1 week. Serves 4.

Adapted from Where There’s Smoke, by Barton Seaver (Sterling Epicure, 2013).