Saturday, May 10, 2008

Grilled Vegetables with Saffron Aioli

This makes a great side dish for a BBQ, especially as all the vegetables can be cooked on the griddle.

You will need (serves 4 as a side dish):

200g fresh asparagus
1 red pepper
4 plum tomatoes
1 courgette

For the aioli:

3 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey
Large pinch saffron threads
3 cloves garlic.
5 tbsp decent mayonnaise

First off make the aioli.

Blanch the garlic cloves with their skin on in boiling water for about 2 or 3 mins then pop them out of their skins and mash with a fork.

Put the vinegar, honey and saffron in a small pan and over a medium heat bring to a boil, stir and then remove. Leave to stand and cool.

Put the mayonnaise into a large bowl and mix in the mashed garlic. Add 1 tbsp at a time of the honey/saffron liquid. Give it a good mix and taste each time. You probably will not have to use all the liquid but add until you’ve reached a taste that you like; slightly sweet, a little bit sharp, garlicky, a bit runny and a wonderful golden colour.

Cut the courgette into three or four strips lengthways. Chop the red pepper into quarters, discarding the seeds and the pith. Chop the tomatoes in half.

Put all the vegetables, including the asparagus into a large bowl, toss with a little olive oil and with a big glass of wine in one hand take the bowl outside to the pre-heated BBQ.

Gently grill all the vegetables and then arrange on a flat platter. Drizzle them with about half of the aioli and put the rest in a bowl beside the dish. Serve.

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