Monday, August 21, 2017

Love That Garlic

My focus the last few days has been the garden. The flowers are blooming like mad and the veggie are finally least some of them. We get about one good sized zucchini per day, a handful of firm, slender tiny green beans, another handful of pear shaped cherry tomatoes, and a small cucumber every other day. Should be baking a cake for the Cake Slice Bakers, or bread for the Bread Baking Babes, but I'm in the garden now that the bath project is done.

In order to really enjoy the beginning of the harvest season, I decided to do a meal that is perfect for this kind of collection of veggies. With the addition of some boiled red potatoes, one hard boiled egg, and two kinds of mains (grilled salmon for me, tri-tip for Sweetie), we had a feast with the addition of a drizzle of home made aioli. You can dip, but the drizzle (see photo at top) looks pretty.

One of the most visited posts over the 10+ years I've been blogging is the one for Spinach-Rice Casserole, a comfort food and economical vegetarian dish from Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook. I'm showing how ancient I am with this, but I bought the book when it was new and when the idea of a vegetarian restaurant was pretty new, too.The recipes are from the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York and the book is unusual because it is hand-lettered instead of being typed. Mollie did very cool illustrations, too, some helpful, some fanciful, but all lovely. If you don't have a copy, you can go online to places like Powell's and try to find a used copy. Worth the search.

My Sweetie has always been a meat and meat kinda guy, so the idea of vegetarian meals was never a hit with him. He did, however, enjoy trying new things. That casserole became a side dish and was enjoyed partly because the only other thing needed (by Sweetie) was his meat or poultry or fish entree.

Another loved recipe from this cookbook was for Aioli, a delicious garlic mayonnaise, which is served as a sauce for fish or, even better, as the dipping sauce that ties together a meal of steamed veggies, potatoes, hard boiled egg and whatever protein of the meat/poultry/fish variety that Sweetie wanted to make that day. You better love garlic if you make and serve aioli the way that Mollie makes it. It makes an assertive mayo, so was mostly made when the kids were off at camp or something similar. The garlic goes raw into the blender and there is a fair amount of it too. Be sure to use a good olive oil, too (not a finishing olive oil, but one that tastes good since you really taste the olive oil in this, along with the garlic). This makes enough for a generous serving for 4, but it keeps in the fridge for days. This afternoon I made a tuna sandwich filling using a little of it. Wonderful!

If you have your ingredients gathered, this only takes about 10 minutes in your blender. I suspect you could use a food processor, too, but I've only ever used a blender. For variations, you can add hot sauce or herbs like basil, mint, oregano, chives, etc. If you like roasted red peppers, adding some to the blender can make this sauce perfect for putting with grilled sausage. Bet you figure out your own variations.

from Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook

1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (don't use anything need the hit of lemon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon tamari (I used soy sauce)
3 medium cloves garlic, crushed...or use more if you really love garlic
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
2 1/2 cups oil (I used all olive oil, but you can combine it with other oils for a milder taste)

Combine the lemon juice, salt, tamari, garlic, eggs and egg yolks in a blender and blend well at high speed.

Turn the blender speed down to medium. Gradually drizzle in the oil in a thin stream. Keep the blender running at medium until all the oil has been absorbed. The mixture should be thick. Turn the blender off because overbeating will cause the mayonnaise to thin out again.

Refrigerate until ready to use, or use right away. Refrigerated aioli will be a bit thicker than freshly made. Store leftovers in the refrigerator...I like to store in glass because the garlic really is strong.

Serve as a dipping sauce with a plate full of steamed veggies like green beans, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, carrot sticks, zucchini, etc. Include some good bread for mopping up the sauce. Nice additions include hard boiled egg halves or quarters, fresh tomatoes, cooked fish, chicken, pork or beef, the latter three cut into bite sized pieces.

No comments :

Post a Comment