If you have never experienced rouille, then you are certainly in for a treat if you make this version. Use it as a dip or spread for your favorite sandwich. I like to enjoy it with poached asparagus or artichokes, raw vegetables, dribbled over steamed potatoes, used in a stew or as a spread for your favorite sandwich or just on toast. See…you will have lots of options to use this tasty classic!
This French-inspired dip/spread is mostly prepared in the same way as a mayonnaise – that is to say using a raw egg yolk and emulsifying the other ingredients. It will last just about one day and tastes rather heavy.
Using bread instead of the egg yolk creates a smooth rouille that is more flexible – especially if using a high-speed blender. The bread creates a stable emulsion and you can easily adjust the thickness of the dip/spread by adding more or less oil during the mixing process.
Yield: makes about 2 cups
1 large red bell pepper
saffron threads – just about ¼ teaspoon
2 slices bread, about 1-cm (1/2-inch) thick
½ cup garlic puree (see tips for alternative)
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
juice of one lemon
75-100 ml. (1/4- to ½-cup) extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F) using the circulating fan and only the top heating element. Place the oven rack about 15-cm (6-inches) from the heating element.
- Clean the red bell pepper and leave it slightly damp. Place on a small baking tray, lined with some baking paper. Roast/grill the pepper until the skin is completely black – you will need to rotate the pepper often to promote even cooking. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Remove the pepper, cool slightly and peel the pepper (see tips). Remove all the seeds from the interior and place the flesh in your blender (I like to use a high-speed blender for this job).
- Soak the saffron threads in a few tablespoons of water for 10 minutes.
- Remove the crust from your bread, slice into large chunks and place in a bowl. Cover the bread with water and soak for 5 minutes. Remove the bread and gently squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Put the bread into the blender with the bell pepper.
- Add the saffron (with the liquid), garlic puree, sea salt, cayenne pepper, paprika and lemon juice. Turn the blender on to its lowest setting. While the machine is on, begin adding the extra virgin olive oil. Use the smaller amount of oil to create a thick emulsion and the increased amount for a looser rouille.
- Finish by blending on high speed for 30 seconds until the rouille is velvety smooth. Adjust seasoning to your liking.
- Keep rouille covered and refrigerated for up to 7 days.
Jack’s Fresh Tip
You can use 2 cloves of garlic in place of the garlic puree. Peel and grate them directly into the mixer.
You can peel off what you can with a knife tip, then go to the sink and scrape off any remaining skin under running water. Working with gloves helps.
You can make this dip in a normal blender, food processor or even by using a mortar and pestle. It won’t be as smooth as the version I like by using a high-speed blender, but it will be tasty and a bit more rustic in appearance – certainly not a bad thing!
Finish the sauce with a tablespoon of pomegranate molasses and you will have a sort of quick muhammara-like dip – very mid-east and highly tasty!
This is a Sample Recipe
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