Fresh Garden Pickles with Aioli

2013-12-08
  • Yield : 6 to 8 servings
  • Prep Time : 35m
  • Cook Time : 10m
  • Ready In : 45m
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Ingredients

  • 1 medium cucumber, cut into 16 spears
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 16 asparagus spears
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and halved
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 16 slices
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 16 slices
  • 2 tablespoons pressed or finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • Aioli, recipe follows
  • 1 slice French bread
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cold water

Method

Step 1

In a mixing bowl, toss the cucumbers with salt to coat, then cover with ice cubes and refrigerate. After 1 to 2 hours, drain, rinse thoroughly, and strain to remove excess water. Set aside. 

Step 2

In a saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the asparagus, carrots, peppers, onions, and garlic and saute for 3 minutes or until the vegetables are just beginning to soften. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the cucumbers, oregano, thyme, and peppercorns and gently toss to combine. 

Step 3

Return the saute pan to medium heat, and add the vinegars, sugar, fennel seeds, and bay leaves. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Pour the syrup over the vegetable mixture and toss to coat. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. These pickles are best a few days after they have been made, but can be eaten after chilling just a few hours.

Step 4

In a small bowl, soak the bread in the milk for 10 minutes. Squeeze the bread and break into small pieces. 

Step 5

In another small bowl, beat together the yolks, salt, and garlic. Add the soaked bread and mix until incorporated. 

Step 6

While beating the yolk mixture, slowly drizzle in the oil until a thick sauce is formed. Beat in the lemon juice and water. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

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