Notes from Katherine Deumling of Cook With What You Have
Lettuces this time of year are so tender and crisp and perfect. The summer heat hasn’t made them bitter yet and this salad is perfect for them. It includes eggs in two forms (hard-boiled and in the aioli)! And the salad is begging for adaptations. Add some chopped tarragon if you have it or other herbs (mint, parsley, basil, chives). You could add canned tuna for an even heartier version.
- 4-6 cups lettuce, washed and dried well and roughly torn
- 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and roughly chopped
- 2 hardboiled eggs (eggs that have been brought to a boil in a plenty of cold water and then taken off the heat and left to sit for 8 minutes in the hot water and then drained and covered in cold water. The yolks will be set but still a bit creamy.), roughly chopped
- 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
- ¾ cup croutons or roughly torn, toasted, good crusty bread
- 3 tablespoons aioli
- a little lemon juice or red wine or champagne vinegar
- a bit more olive oil or cream or water to thin it down a bit (optional)
- Salt and Pepper
Put the lettuce, eggs, capers, onion and croutons in a salad bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and then toss well with the lettuce, etc. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Aioli is basically garlicky mayonnaise. Green garlic lends itself very well to this technique since it’s milder and sweeter than mature garlic. Traditionally it’s made with mature garlic so use whatever you have. Homemade aioli takes about 5 minutes to make and keeps well for a week. I’ve always made it by hand but I know it works really well in the food processor too so by all means use that if you want. It’s so delicious and endlessly useful and adaptable. Potato salad, deviled eggs, egg salad, sandwiches, spread for grilled fish, dressing for anything.
- 2 eggs yolks
- 2-3 stalks green garlic or garlic scapes
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
- 3 teaspoon lemon juice or more to taste
- about 1 ½ cups oil. I use a combo of two thirds neutral oil like Sunflower and one third good tasting olive oil. If you use all olive oil it tends to be too bitter and strong.
Mince 2-3 stalks of green garlic (the tender parts—trim off anything that seems at all fibrous) as finely as you can with a sharp knife for mince in a food processor.
Whisk the garlic into the eggs yolks with the lemon juice, mustard and salt and pepper. Then very slowly start adding the oil, almost drip by drip for a bit until you things get nice and emulsified. Then you can start adding the oil in a thin stream, whisking all the while (or do the same in the food processor).
Traditionally aioli is served as a dip with raw and steamed vegetables. This week it could be carrots and turnips and radishes – raw or quickly blanched or steamed. It’s good with chickpeas, potatoes, asparagus, etc. It’s also wonderful with grilled foods, in a sandwich or spooned in soup or pasta or used instead of mayonnaise in deviled eggs.