Made for sharing: Le grand aïoli

This traditional French platter is all about the aïoli, which is definitely worth making at home frequently because it is so delicious spread on sandwiches, served as a dip for oven fries and mixed into salad (see the chicken salad crostini recipe here). Once you’ve made the aïoli, the rest of the dish comes together easily.

Erin Scott


200g baby new potatoes, halved if large
4 eggs
115g green beans, stem ends trimmed but you can leave their little tails
12 medium-large raw king prawns (about 455g), peeled and deveined, tails left on
30g Niçoise or other black olives
2 heads red or white chicory, separated into individual leaves

2-3 small garlic cloves
1 egg yolk
180ml extra virgin olive oil
Squeeze of lemon juice, plus more to taste

  1. Make the aïoli. Using a mortar and pestle or the side of a large knife, crush the garlic and 2-3 pinches of fine salt into a smooth paste. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolk to break it up. While whisking continuously, add a few drops of the olive oil. Whisk until fully incorporated, then add a few more drops of oil. Continue whisking and adding the oil by the drop until the mixture thickens, looks sticky and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  2. While whisking continuously, add a little more oil, this time in a very thin and slow stream. Once you’ve added somewhere between a third and a half of the total oil, squeeze in a little lemon juice to thin the aïoli. Add the remaining oil, still in a very thin and slow stream while whisking continuously. The aïoli should be as thick as mayonnaise. Stir in the garlic paste, taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt and lemon juice if you’d like. Transfer the aïoli to a small serving bowl or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  3. Bring a large saucepan of generously salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and eggs. Cook the eggs for 7 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and cool for 2 minutes in a bowl of iced water. Cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes or until they are tender when pierced with a fork. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the boiled potatoes to a plate.
  4. To the same pot of boiling water, add the beans. Cook until bright green and tender but still a little crunchy, about 1 1⁄2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beans to a colander and rinse with cold water.
  5. Finally, cook the prawns by carefully lowering them into the boiling water and cooking just until they’re pink and opaque (about 2 minutes). Use a slotted spoon to transfer the prawns to one side of a serving platter.
  6. To assemble, place the bowl of aïoli next to the prawns on the platter, just off-centre. Peel and halve the eggs and arrange with the cooked vegetables, olives and chicory leaves around the prawns and aïoli in separate little areas on the platter.

Now buy the book

boards, platters, platesOur recipes are from Boards, Platters, Plates by Maria Zizka, published by Artisan Books, price £15.99. To order a copy for £13.59 until 16 May call 020 3308 9193 or go to Free p&p on orders over £20.



Photographs: Erin Scott. © Maria Zizka 2021