Summer is prime time for perfect, fresh vegetables from your own garden or the farmer’s market. In our house we are mostly eating them raw and plain as fast as we can pluck them off the vines or from the ground but sometimes we want that little extra. With a plethora of perfect beans, I decided to briefly blanch them and serve them with a piquant aioli flavored with a bunch of gorgeous basil, some parsley and chives and up the umami with some anchovies. Fresh and simple garnished with beautiful flowering oregano, this is the essence of a summer garden.
*Note: Aioli is a traditional French sauce made simply with egg yolks, lots of garlic, olive oil and seasoned with a little lemon juice and mustard. This sauce has all those ingredients except mustard but adds in the anchovy and herbs so it could also be called a flavored mayonnaise.
Below are some fun and easy centerpieces also foraged from the garden and arranged simply in mason jars that added a little color to our casual summer party.
Basil Anchovy Aioli
A delicious tangy and addicting sauce perfect for dipping veggies into or dressing a nicoise salad.
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 1 Garlic Clove, Crushed
- 1 c Basil And Other Herbs, Coarsely Chopped and Packed To Equal 1 Cup I used basil, parsley, chives and thyme
- 1 c Olive Oil
- 1 Juice of 1 Lemon
- 4 Anchovy Fillets
- 1 tbsp Sherry Vinegar Red wine vinegar is a fine substitute
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1/2-1 tsp Salt or to taste Add after anchovies and adjust as needed
- 6 drops Hot Sauce (Tobasco)
Using a high powered blender or hand held blender, start blending egg yolks and garlic. Add half of herbs and lemon juice if you need to add more volume to reach the blades.
With blender running, slowly start adding oil. Start with a few drops at a time until it starts thickening and then you can start adding it faster.
Once half of oil has been incorporated, add rest of ingredients except salt and then continue blending and adding oil until finished. If sauce gets too thick, add a little water a teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust salt blending well after adding.
Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 4 days and serve with raw or blanched veggies.
This French sauce is very versatile and is delicious on salads, sandwiches and chicken too!