Wickwood Inn Notebook recipes
A L L  T H E  L O C A L  N E W S,  G O S S I P,  R E C I P E S  A N D  L O R E  T H A T' S  F I T  T O   P R I N T Topiary S U M M E R  2 0 0 7

Le Grand Aioli
"Almost everyone has something secret he likes to eat."   
M.F.K. Fisher

In Wickwood's Kitchen ---

The centerpiece of Le Grand Aioli, The Great Summer Feast of Provence, often called “the sunshine of provence” and it is the greenish gold garlicky mayonnaise made with a mortar and pestle. That is it’s secret. Neither doctored store bought, nor blender mayonnaise will do. It must be made in the traditional way for the flavor to be truly superb. When combined with the Summer’s freshest vegetables straight from the garden and some poached fish, it truly becomes a feast from the heavens! We always like to have plenty of Aioli and so you need to make two batches of the following recipe, one at a time. It can be made ahead of time, but gets stronger over time. Serves 12

• 8 garlic cloves, peeled
• 2 egg yolks, at room temperature, whisked juice of 1 lemon
• Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
• 1½ cups extra-virgin olive oil, not the greenest, nor strongest; or half grapeseed (or sunflower) and half olive oil, to taste.


Crush the garlic cloves in a mortar with a pinch of coarse sea salt until you get a paste. Whisk in the egg yolks. Then drop by drop, drizzle in about ½ cup of the oil, whisking continuously. Don’t rush it here. As the aioli begins to thicken, the oil can be added in a thin, steady stream. Whisk just until the aioli is stiff. Set aside.

The Vegetables Etc.
These are strictly up to you. They depend on your taste, your garden or the Farmer’s Market, and how long you want to feast.
For 12 people, I usually make:
• 18 hardboiled eggs
• 24 small gold or red beets, roasted
• 24 Fingerling or 24 Red Potatoes, boiled
• 36-48 baby carrots, roasted
• 3 pounds of green beans, blanched
• 48-60 Heirloom Cherry/Pear Tomatoes
• 2 pounds zucchini, sliced
• 2 pounds broccoli or cauliflower, trimmed
• 2 pounds chickpeas, roasted
• 6 large red and yellow peppers, stemmed, seeded and sliced
• 2 pounds of sugar snaps
• 12 small salmon or cod fillets, poached and chilled
• Assorted garlic sausages and carpaccio, thinly sliced.


Present all of the vegetables in mounds, on a platter laden with dark green lettuce leaves. Place the aioli in bowls of hollowed out vegetables, nestle in the fish and meats and serve with plenty of napkins and rose.

When our heirloom tomatoes are at their prime one of the first dishes we think of making is one that we first tasted in Italy many many years ago. It’s perfect for those lazy days of Summer when you don’t want to cook, but still want something scrumptious. The secret ingredient is the Brie which melts, creating an instant sauce! You can also use mozzarella and Roquefort, St. Andre or l’Explorateur. It’s lovely. Serves 6-8

• 8 large ripe tomatoes, cut into ½ inch cubes, or loads of heirloom cherry or pear shapes, cut in half
• 1 pound Brie, rind removed, cut into bite sized pieces
• 1 cup fresh basil, rinsed, dried, and cut into strips
• 3-6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced (to taste)
• ½ cup best-quality olive oil
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 1 pound linguine
• Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Linguine with Tomatoes and Bsil

1. At least 2 hours before serving, combine the tomatoes, Brie, basil, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large serving bowl.
2. At serving time, bring 6 quarts salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add the linguine, and boil until tender but still firm, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Drain the pasta and immediately toss well with the tomato sauce. Serve at once, passing the peppermill, and the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Smell the sea breezes, even if you’re not near.

Long our house chicken salad --- sometimes we toss in green grapes, tart dried cherries, or blueberries for variety --- but we never tire of this. It’s simply the best. Serves 4

• 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• 2 cups skim milk, or chicken broth
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1 cup mayonnaise, preferably Hellman’s
• 4 celery ribs, cut into 1 inch-long pencil strips
• 1 cup shelled walnuts
• 1 tablespoon crumbled dried tarragon, or to taste
• Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Pour milk or broth around chicken. Bake until cooked through, 40-45 minutes, turning once midway. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
3. Shred the meat by hand into bite-sized pieces and transfer to bowl. Do not cut. This makes all the difference in the texture
4. Add the sour cream and mayonnaise to the chicken and combine well. Add the celery, walnuts, tarragon and salt and pepper. Toss, taste and adjust the seasonings.
5. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 4 hours to blend the flavors. Taste and adjust seasonings. Lovely served in a lettuce leaf.

A simply great Summertime Salad for lunch or dinner. Serves 6

• 2 pounds medium-sized raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1 cup prepared mayonnaise, preferably Hellmann’s
• 2 cups seedless green grapes, washed and pattered dry
• ½ cup chopped fresh dill, or more to taste
• Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil and drop in the shrimp. Wait 1 minute, or until shrimp are just pink, empty the pot into a strainer. Let the shrimp cool in the colander. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl
2. Add the sour cream and mayonnaise to the shrimp and toss gently. Add the grapes and toss again. Sprinkle on the dill, add the pepper and toss once more. Taste and add salt to taste. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 4 hours to blend tastes. Before serving, adjust seasonings.

Grilled Chicken with Lemon and Olives

Crisp lemon-flavored chicken accented with garlic and black and green olives. We love to serve this with grilled vegetables and our Nutted Bulgar Salad for an easy Al Fresco supper. Serves six to eight.

• 2 chickens (2½ to 3 pounds) quartered
• 2 lemons, thinly sliced
• 12 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 cup olive oil
• ½ cup Cognac
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 1 cup Nicoise olives
• 1 cup Spanish Green olives

Nicoise Olives
Niciose Olives

1. One day before serving, place the chicken pieces in a shallow dish. Combine the lemons, garlic, oil, Cognac and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the chicken, and marinate overnight in the refrigerator, turning the pieces occasionally.
2. Prepare hot coals with some mesquite for grilling the chicken.
3. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill several inches above the hot coals until the juices run clear when the thickest part of a thigh is pierced. When the chicken is almost done, heat the marinade and the olives over low heat until hot.
4. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and spoon the olive mixture generously over the pieces. Serve immediately.

A dessert that can only be made for a few weeks every Summer --- but well worth the wait!! You can use yellow or white peaches for this, or a combination --- just make sure they’re ripened to perfection. The almond extract heightens the flavor!

• 4 cups peeled and sliced ripe peaches
• 2/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
• 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• ¼ teaspoon almond extract
• 1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• ¼ cup milk
• 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
• 3 to 4 tablespoons peach brandy

Peach Cobbler

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter a 2 quart baking dish.
2. Arrange the peaches in the baking dish. Sprinkle with the 2/3 cup sugar, the lemon zest and juice and the almond extract.
3. Bake for 20 minutes
4. While the peaches are baking, sift the flour, 1 tablespoon of the remaining sugar, the baking powder and salt together into a bowl. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Combine the beaten egg and mild and mix into the dry ingredients until just combined.
5. Remove the peaches from the oven and quickly drop the dough by large spoonfuls over the surface. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Return to the oven until the top is firm and golden brown, 15-20 minutes
6. Whip the cream into soft peaks. Flavor with the peach brandy to taste.
7. Serve the cobbler warm, accompanied by giant dollops of softly whipped cream.



Garlic in Provence is taken very seriously. Once a year, at the height of Summer in mid-August, all of the small towns of Provence celebrate their garlic harvest in a dramatic way. Each town has its own patron saint, who is honored by a three day festival-culminating with a Grand Aioli Feast for all of the village’s citizens. The feast itself begins with Aperitifs, olives, handmade potato chips, and then moves to Le Grand Aioli served with many, baguettes, bottles of rose and pastries. It goes on for hours, with dancing, boules, and fireworks far on into the night!!

A warm afternoon in
Cassis - Provence


In Provence, at Le Grand Aioli, two types of Aioli are made, one with olive oil and one with sunflower oil. The one with sunflower oil is less strong and is preferred by some. Not me, but some.

The differences in taste between olive oils is considerable. Italian olive oils are stronger and fruitier and those of Provence, milder. Unless you truly love the deep fiery bite of olive oil, sometimes halving it with grape seed or sunflower oil is a good idea.

A major factor in determining the taste of olive oil is the maturity of the olives when they’re picked. Olives harvested when still partially green will produce an oil that has a hot aftertaste, while an oil made with fully mature, black olives will be mild and fruity, almost buttery. Most Provencal olive oil is the latter.

Traditionally, the olives in Provence are harvested when they are black, and consequently these are milder than those from Tuscany where the olives are picked when still partially green.

There is only one way to become familiar with olive oils and determine your favorite. Taste, taste, taste them! Simply, with bread, on salads, in sauté, in frying, baking and in slow cooking. Only then, will you know which you like to cook with when. It’s your taste that’s important!!

Barbequed Ribs


This is embarrassingly simple --- but it has indeed become our favorite barbeque sauce. The cinnamon makes it not as sweet as most, and if you like it hot, you can make zip it up with cayenne or Spanish Pimenton. We like to pre-cook ribs and chicken and then just finish them with the sauce either in the oven or on the grill --- slathering them lightly, then cooking 15 minutes. And then brushing them again and cook 15-20 minutes longer, basting several times, to give them two light coats of flavor.

• 1 bottle KC Masterpiece Sauce, Original
• 1 jar of seedless blackberry preserves
• 2 heaping tablespoons cinnamon

1. Mix together and brush on and on.


This is a surefire favorite and just great for Summer suppers!!! Whenever Joe made these at The Silver Palate, they barely made it around the corner to the store to be sold. The staff loved them, the customers did, and we still do today!!! Serves 8

• 5½ pounds, red new potatoes
• 8 cloves garlic, finely minced
• 1½ cups best-quality olive oil
• ½ cup of finely chopped fresh mint
• 1 tablespoon sea salt
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Scrub the potatoes and prick each one about 6 times with a fork. Place in a shallow roasting pan and roast for 2 hours. Cut each potato in half.
3. While still hot, toss the potatoes with the garlic, oil, mint, salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving, if you can.


The most popular place to live today is a small town. When you’re visiting ours, we invite you to be one of us for a few days.
• Walk the beach just after dawn.

Walk the beach

• Play cards by the water.
• Shop the Farmer’s Market in Saugatuck.
• Work out on a bike path, our beaches or at The Pump House.
• Listen to music all around town.
• Play golf, tennis, climb Mt. Baldy or hike the dunes.
• Bike the country roads and get lost.
Sit in a café and watch the world go by.
• Picnic at the beach at sunset.
• Play checkers or read on Wickwood’s back porch.


• Listen to the doves.
• Go on Historic Walks or join House and Garden Tours.
• Talk to the locals.

Silver Palate Cookbook 25

To order your own autographed copy of the Silver Palate Cookbook – email us at silverpalatecb@wickwoodinn.com





Wickwood Inn   |    510 Butler Street P.O. Box 1019   |   Saugatuck, MI 49453
Tel (800) 385-1174   |  www.wickwoodinn.com  |    Bill and Julee Rosso Miller, Proprietors