Ail means “garlic,” as will be evident when you taste this sauce from Languedoc, an emulsion of walnuts and walnut oil with raw garlic and parsley. Serve it with duck breast, roast pork, or grilled vegetables.

Makes 1 1/2 cups/375 ml sauce to serve 6 to 8

  • 1 cup/125 g walnut pieces
  • 8 garlic cloves, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup/250 ml walnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Put the walnut pieces and garlic in a food processor and pulse until chopped, about 1 minute. Add the water and continue working to a paste, about 1 minute longer. Season with salt and pepper. With the blades running, add the oil a few drops at a time so an emulsion forms. After about 15 seconds, when the sauce starts to stiffen, add the remaining oil in a slow, steady stream. Work in the parsley, taste, and adjust the seasoning. The sauce will keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

photo by France Ruffenach
by Anne Willan, Chronicle Books, 2007.