Happy Father’s Day! To celebrate we are having Open Faced Sandwiches made with Homemade Garlic Aioli. It is a dish that is both simple and elegant–perfect for a casual summer party or light supper–just add a salad. Even easier than grilling!
For those not familiar with garlic aioli, it is basically a zipped up homemade mayonnaise. According to Wikipedia, “aioli is a Provençal traditional sauce made of garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and usually egg yolks. Aioli is, like mayonnaise, an emulsion or suspension of small globules of oil and oil-soluble compounds in water and water-soluble compounds.” The added flavors take the taste experience to a whole new level, not that mayo is any slouch in the first place.
My first taste of garlic aioli was actually not on sandwiches. Daughter #1 spent last year attending school in a nearby town which meant periodic day trips and of course some new restaurants. And near enough to get me addicted to garlic aioli on French Fries.
Now French Fries have pretty much NOT crossed my lips for the past decade. There is a lot of debate about what is healthy in food circles now around the question of whether we should reduce fat or carbohydrates. French Fries are one of the few foods that can set off BOTH groups… so I am really staying away.
Unless you lure me in with garlic aioli.
After falling off the wagon (more than once), I quickly realized I had better learn to make the aioli myself–and serve it with something at least a little healthier, which is where the open faced sandwiches come in!
The original recipe for the aioli came from Emeril Lagasse, and everyone wanted less garlic flavor. I also wanted to lighten the olive oil taste so you will see my modified version below. Summertime and the living is easy–at least today!
- 12 oz loaf french bread (about 18 inches)
- 2 ounces salmon, smoked
- 4 ounces ham or prosciutto (ideally prosciutto)
- 4 oz asparagus, steamed until slightly crunchy & cut in halves or thirds
- 1/2 oz Fresh dill sprigs
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 large egg, (pasteurized per the FDA)
- 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 T chopped fresh parsley or 1 t chopped fresh chives
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- dash freshly ground black pepper (2 turns)
- 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 c canola oil (or other lightly flavored oil)
- To prepare aioli, combine the garlic, egg, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender and puree. Add the oil in a slow stream (this is important for it to emulsify properly). Continue to process until the mixture has formed a thick emulsion. Refrigerate.
- Thinly slice the French bread on a diagonal and toast slices on one side. Spread toasted side with garlic aioli, then layer with salmon topped with a dill sprig, or prosciutto and asparagus. If desired, dot sandwich(es) with a few capers and/or a pickle slice. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate briefly.
- Any leftover aioli should be refrigerated and used within a few days.