November 8, 2010 § 2 Comments
Aïoli sounds fancy but really it’s just a sauce involving mayonnaise. However, don’t let my deflation of the fancy balloon make you think this isn’t something worthwhile to make; basil-caper aïoli is one of the best accompaniments to potatoes and seafood that I’ve come across, let alone made myself and had the forethought to write down what I had done right after making it the first time.
Anyways, the first time I made it I used it as a dipping sauce for calamari (not made by me; deep-frying is a culinary hurdle I’ve yet to jump), and the second time was as an accompaniment to roasted Cornish hens and new baby potatoes. It was very hard for me to not make it every day that week, since I didn’t want to kill my basil plant by removing all of its leaves, so suffice to say that once the poor plant has grown back a bit more a new batch is forthcoming. Not only is it easy to make, but assuming you have a basil plant, most of the ingredients are likely to already be in the pantry.
Basically, you need lemons, basil, capers, garlic, mayonnaise (you can make your own but I admit to having used Hellman’s…), salt, and pepper.
First, chop up about one tablespoon of capers. Drizzle in a bit of the caper juice too.
Then, chop up about one tablespoon of basil leaves.
One clove of garlic, either grated on a microplane, smushed in a garlic press, or minced – the latter method will make it very garlicky.
Now, the mayonnaise! Four tablespoons is about right.
Then, add in the juice of half a lemon.
Stir everything around, and add in salt and pepper to taste. The texture should be loose and silky.
I recommend refrigerating for at least thirty minutes or up to eight hours or so to allow the flavors to mingle.
Here it is with a leg of Cornish hen and some roasted new baby potatoes.*
Makes about 1/2 cup
- One tablespoon of capers, chopped, with a bit of the caper juice reserved
- One tablespoon of basil leaves
- One clove of garlic, either grated on a microplane, smushed in a garlic press, or minced
- Four tablespoons mayonnaise (I used Hellman’s, but homemade would catapult this to seriously-luxe levels)
- Juice of half a lemon
- Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Combine all ingredients except salt and pepper. Correct for seasonings and add salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate at least thirty minutes or up to eight hours. Dip edibles, eat, and enjoy!
* I roasted the Cornish hen and potatoes for about twenty-five minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit and then lowered the heat to 350 for about twenty minutes, until the hens were golden brown and the potatoes were crispy.