A trug of little vegetables with aïoli

A trug of little vegetables with aïoli

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How I cook
Serves
6
Photographer
Jason Lowe

Sweet young vegetables – prettily arranged in baskets and accompanied by nothing more than a rich, verdant aïoli – make perfect outdoor food. A grassy extra virgin olive oil is essential for the aïoli, as it lends an unctuous depth of flavour – a bland mayonnaise misses the point completely. You can make the aïoli a couple of hours in advance.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
a selection of vegetables, such as small carrots, quartered baby fennel bulbs, crisp chicory and treviso leaves, little ripe plum tomatoes on the vine, cucumber, chicory, broad beans and peas

Aïoli

Quantity Ingredient
3 small organic free-range egg yolks
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1/2 lemon, juiced
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
200ml extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. To make the aïoli, put the egg yolks into a blender or small food processor and add the crushed garlic and lemon juice. Season with a good pinch of salt and one or two generous grindings of pepper. Pour the olive oil into a jug. With the motor running, very slowly pour the olive oil through the funnel onto the egg yolks – drip by drip to begin with, then in a slow trickle – until it is all incorporated and you have a thick, glossy aïoli.
  2. Spoon the aïoli into a bowl, or a plastic container if you are packing a picnic, and refrigerate until ready to serve or go.
  3. Carefully wash all the vegetables and pat dry. Now simply take your prettiest basket, line it with a cloth and arrange the vegetables as you see fit.

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