With a plethora of perfect beans, I decided to briefly blanch them and serve them with a piquant basil aioli. Flavored with fresh gorgeous basil, garlic and lemon, I then add some parsley and chives and really amp up the flavor with some anchovies. Not too much anchovy, just enough to make the other flavors pop.
Summer is prime time for perfect, fresh herbs and vegetables from your own garden or farmer’s market. In our house we are mostly eating them raw and plain as fast as we pick them but sometimes we want that little extra. Fresh and simple veggies and dip garnished with beautiful flowering oregano, this is the essence of a summer garden.
What Is Aioli
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.
Ways To Serve Fresh Veggies
Fresh raw vegetables are at their peak in the summer and there is no easier way to eat them than simply dipping and eating raw. Here I have blanched the beans to make them extra tender but most vegetables are just fine completely raw.
A favorite simple spring or summer recipe is Garden Salad, made by using whatever is growing on that particular day. Alternatively, you can make your dressing out of raw fruits and veg like I do with Carrot Apple Ginger Salad Dressing and if you’re in the mood for cooking, I love Roasted Eggplant Dip.
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. I love decorating and garnishing plates with fun little flowers, herbs and leaves from my garden.
Basil Aioli with Garlic and Lemon
- 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!