In Seamus Mullen's newest book, he describes his journey to health, but the subtitle alone—How Cooking with Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better—was enough to draw us in. Mullen's description of his diagnosis of early onset rheumatoid arthritis and his subsequent discovery of 18 friendly foods that helped him manage his symptoms are told with humor and honesty. From the author:
If there could be but one sauce in all of Spanish cooking, for me it might just be all i oli. The name quite simply means “garlic” (all) “and” (i) “oil” (oli), and that’s pretty much all that’s in a traditional all i oli. I fold it into a rice dish to add a creamy texture, or I serve it as a condiment for grilled fish and vegetables. I love to make this by hand in a mortar and pestle. It’s one of the magical moments of cooking where two simple things are transformed into something so remarkably different. All i oli can also be made with a handheld blender (an egg yolk will help to hold it together), but if you choose the 21st-century technique over the 15th-century method, you’ll want to mix 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil with 1/2 cup canola, grapeseed, or safflower oil. If you don’t mix the oils, the blender’s blade will bruise the delicate olive oil and turn it bitter.
Small handful of garlic cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Tiny squeeze of lemon juice
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Picudo or Arbequina
In a large mortar and pestle, combine the minced garlic, salt, and lemon juice and grind in a clockwise motion until pounded into a paste. Add the olive oil, drop by drop, while working the pestle in circles, always in the same direction. As the sauce begins to emulsify and become creamy, start to add the oil in a steady stream until completely incorporated.
Makes 1 cup
From Seamus Mullen’s Hero Food by Seamus Mullen/Andrews McMeel Publishing (2012)