The 2nd of Jan is a weird day in Edinburgh. Traditionally, in Scotland the 2nd is as quiet and dead a day as the 1st, with nowhere to buy food and nothing to eat but leftovers, but as things are centralised, and more companies impose English terms and conditions, more and more places are open. Yet we’ve still ended up mostly staying in today. 18saughtonmains went to his allotment and built a fire and the kids ran riot around the front room but refused to go outside. So I decided to pretend like it was actually summer and made a southern European-ish picnic lunch. We had some of my current recipe sourdough which has finally got the crunchy crust I’ve been trying to achieve for months, jarred red peppers, jarred artichoke hearts, cold meat left over from last week, some carrot batons and for the centre piece a massive bowl of wibbly alioli. We may not have left the British Isles (geographic) since last Spring, but for a brief meal we got to pretend we were somewhere warm and fruitful. I look forward to repeating this meal in the summer with food from the allotment and maybe even having it outside. Because the daylight does come back eventually.
I’ve always found home made mayo and/or alioli easy but some people seem to find it hard. Make sure you are making it somewhere coolish (easy in Edinburgh in January) and take your time.
4 cloves of garlic
2 egg yolks
Pinch of rock salt
250ml olive oil (for special occasions all extra virgin, otherwise ordinary is fine)
squeeze of lemon
Peel the garlic and put in a mortar with the salt. Mash it up until it is a paste. I believe it is traditional to make the whole thing in a pestle and mortar but I then transfer it to a bowl and start whisking using a balloon whisk as I add the oil blob by blob, mixing well each time. Slowly you can add bigger blobs and when you get halfway through the oil, add the lemon juice to thin things slightly. And that’s it. It’ll keep in the fridge for a few days if you like and is lovely with carrot, cucumber or red pepper battons, fresh bread, especially something like a fougasse, or cold poached fish.