What better way to celebrate the summer than with the freshest produce the market has to offer, along with a vat of garlicky aioli to dip it into?
“It’s my favorite kind of food, and my favorite way to eat,” say chef Ken Wiss, who has been presiding over Le Grand Aioli Night at Marlow & Sons (81 Broadway, Brooklyn; 718-384-1441), the Williamsburg farm-to-table stalwart, for the last 4 years.
“I love sharable platters of food, and this is special in that it highlights the specific moment in the year, and showcases what’s really exciting to eat right this minute,” Wiss elaborates.
“I first heard about le grand aioli (a simple feast of seasonal items designed for dipping into a rich garlic mayonnaise) in a book by Alice Waters, and it struck a chord with me,” says Wiss.
“Obviously, you want to use great eggs,” Wiss notes. “We get ours from a co-op of farms in Lancaster county. They’re certified organic and they’re always very fresh. Then we keep things simple, very traditional. We make the aioli with garlic, lemon juice, and a mixture of oils; a mild and sweet California olive oil, a light canola oil, and a little extra virgin to finish it.”
The aioli comes with a platter of vegetables, sometimes fish, sometimes pickles, “what ever feels right on the day,” says Wiss. “We might showcase new potatoes one week, then sardines, then snap peas. Whatever’s shining right now. That’s what so fun about this as a way to eat and a way to cook, and that’s what I really love about it; it truly celebrates a precise moment in time.”
Grand Aioli Mondays are scheduled to run all summer, “until the end of tomato season,” says Wiss. So pull up a chair to the communal table, pour a large glass of cool rosé, and relax into to leisurely evening of snacking — the perfect antidote to the back-to-work blues.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 13, 2015