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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Red Pepper Sauce

Our friend Paul Spring makes a roasted red bell pepper sauce that can be used for dipping—chips or artichokes, for example—as a spread on toasted or plain French bread slices, or as a finishing sauce, to give a colorful and flavorful boost to a dish.
Once you’ve roasted the peppers, this sauce is quick and easy, and it lasts for days, perhaps weeks (we're still testing that), in the refrigerator.
Start by placing a roasted, cleaned pepper—or two or three or four—in your food processor. For each pepper, add one-half to one teaspoon of thyme (more if you have fresh or really love thyme). With the processor running, add a scant teaspoon of rice wine vinegar and a scant tablespoon of olive oil for each pepper, as well as a clove of garlic, if you like. Process to a smooth consistency. Taste for salt. If you need to thin the sauce because of the way you’re serving it, put in a bit of milk, but don’t overdo it.
For a bit more punch, Paul suggests adding some anchovy. This is a pretty forgiving recipe, so you can experiment to find what you like best. 
Even when it's just made with red peppers, the sauce has a fresh, smoky taste and a bright color that can dress up a too-pale plate of food. It nicely complemented Tim's grilled cod last night.

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