Aïoli provençal complet (or aïoli garni) is a dish made up of the garlic mayonnaise dip, served with an array of vegetables, potatoes, salt cod and shellfish. The accompanying ingredients are dipped into the aïoli and eaten, primarily on a Friday as is the tradition for the area. Many of the villages in Provence have a celebration in the summer of an Aïoli lunch in the village sqaure, don’t miss it if you see one!
It is the perfect dish to serve for a leisurely lunch under the shade of the parasol, with a chilled Provençal Rosé wine. It is a meal of simplicity and a celebration of fresh local produce and you can be sure that you will be serving a very traditional French meal in presented in the same way for years on years.
These can vary according to your personal preferences but should include a good selection of fresh local vegetables. By tradition the fish should be salt cod but this can take up a good 2 days of soaking. We recommend buying cod (Dos de Cabillaud) if you are in your holiday villa.
New potatoes, halved or left whole depending on size
Carrots, cut into large batons
Asparagus, if in season
French beans (haricot vert)
Cauliflower or broccoli florets
Fennel bulb quartered
Hard boiled eggs (1 per person)
Firm white fish, preferably cod – 200g per person
Mussels – a small handful per person
Cooked prawns, with shells
Large pot Garlic Mayonnaise – home made or shop bought
Cook the potatoes, skin on. Cook the vegetables, preferably steam, until firm and just cooked.
Steam or poach the fish
Cook the mussels and remove from their shells before serving
Garlic Mayonnaise – this should be strong and full of flavour
Arrange the vegetables on a large platter so everyone can help themselves with the pot of garlic mayonnaise as the centre piece or on individual plates with individual pots of the mayonnaise. Bring additional colour to the plate by adding 2 or 3 cherry tomatoes, a hard boiled egg halved, and top with the prawns and sprinkle with a little finely chopped parsley if preferred.
Don’t forget the crusty Baguette too!