(= La Vialla’s Mayonnaise)
Mayonnaise adds a special touch to main courses and side dishes; this is the recipe used to prepare it for the guests at La Vialla.
Put the egg yolks in a small bowl, add the water and flour, stirring well with a wooden spoon until amalgamated. Start adding the olive oil, drop by drop, stirring continuously (use one hand to pour in the drops – literally drops – of oil, while stirring tirelessly with the other). The eggs will gradually thicken and the sauce will look as it should do when finished. When you have incorporated all the oil into the mixture, continue stirring and add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of lemon juice (our advice is to always taste first, and then add the salt and lemon a little at a time – it’s better to only add a little at the beginning and then more as required). If you like, when the mayonnaise is ready you can sprinkle it with a little pepper.
If the mayonnaise will have to wait for a few hours before being served, add a spoonful of slightly salted, warm water and stir well.
It’s delicious with fish, in sandwiches of various kinds (for example tuna, tomato and capers, or boiled chicken, salad leaves and pickled vegetables), with the addition of a bit of ketchup it’s ready for a prawn cocktail, and so on and so forth – it can be used in thousands of ways.
(= Spring Salad)
For the vinaigrette: in a large bowl, mix the garlic – peeled, with the internal green shoot removed and crushed with a pinch of salt to form a “cream” – the juice and rind of ½ a lemon (only the yellow part, cut into tiny thin strips), the Balsamico Bianco, pepper and dried chilli pepper. Gradually pour in the olive oil, stirring everything together carefully.
For the salad: cut the tougher, greenish-white, bottom end off the asparagus. Wash and then “blanch” them for 10 minutes in boiling water with a pinch of salt, without putting the lid on to avoid them changing colour; strain them and leave to cool down. Remove the outer, tough petals from the artichokes, cut off ¾ of the stalk and a good part of the “tip” – only the tender “heart” should remain – and soak them for 10 minutes in water with the juice of ½ a lemon. Remove the outer layers of the fennel bulbs, cut off the hard part at the bottom, wash, drain and slice them thinly. Put them into the bowl with the vinaigrette, together with the artichokes, well-drained of the water and cut into segments, and the asparagus cut into 3-4 pieces. Mix the vegetables with the dressing and leave to rest for about 10 minutes. In the meanwhile brown the pine nuts in a frying pan over a lively heat for a few minutes. Wash and “dry” the salad leaves and add them to the bowl, followed by the olives – in pieces if you prefer – and the cooled, toasted pine nuts. Mix delicately and taste to see whether you need to add salt and pepper. Transfer everything onto a serving dish, garnish with slithers of pecorino and serve immediately.