"This salad is the little sister of the Provençal dish called a grand aioli," says Amaryll Schwertner, chef-owner of Boulette's Larder in San Francisco. She omits the seafood of the grand version and focuses instead on "the colors, flavors, and textures of summer produce." To make a half-batch of aioli (a deliciously garlicky mayonnaise), whisk it by hand and use 1 egg yolk rather than half of a whole egg.
1/2 pound green beans, yellow wax beans, or both
1 pound fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
3 small summer squash, such as zucchini, sliced diagonally 1/2 in. thick
About 1 1/4 cups mild extra-virgin olive oil, divided
10 to 12 thyme sprigs, divided
1 large egg, at room temperature
About 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
2 teaspoons Champagne vinegar or fresh lemon juice
2 to 4 garlic cloves
1 small head frisée (pale inner leaves only)
1 medium fennel bulb, stems trimmed and bulb cut into thin wedges
About 1 cup mixed cherry tomatoes, large ones halved
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 450°.
Blanch beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, plunge into a bowl of ice and water, then drain again and pat dry on a kitchen towel.
Toss potatoes and squash separately with 2 tbsp. oil each, some sea salt, and about two-thirds of thyme sprigs. Roast separately in a single layer on rimmed baking sheets until just tender, 7 to 10 minutes for zucchini and 20 to 25 for potatoes.
Make aioli: In a bowl, whisk egg with a pinch of fine sea salt and the vinegar until thick. Whisk in remaining 1 cup oil gradually, drop by drop for the first 1/4 cup or so (until the mixture is emulsified) and then in a thin stream until aioli is nice and thick; you may not need all the oil. Alternatively, whirl egg, salt, and vinegar in a blender, then drizzle in oil.
Sprinkle garlic with 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt. Mince with a chef's knife, then use side of blade to crush garlic into a paste. Stir garlic paste into mayonnaise. Taste and add more salt or vinegar if you like.
Arrange cooked and raw vegetables on a large platter or long board, top with remaining thyme sprigs, and serve with aioli.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per first-course serving with 1 tbsp. aioli.