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Red Pepper Aioli

Somewhere in Provence there is a newspaper whose name is “L’Aioli.” That lucky town gets to wake up every day to “The Garlic Mayonnaise.” Sounds like a good place to live. Closer to home, chefs have extended the aioli concept to include all sort of other flavors. Here’s my contribution to the overload. This is not only tasty as a dip, a squirtable condiment, or even a sandwich spread, but it’s also a very pretty color. It’s a great dip for fresh-cut French fries. Thinned with a little water, it makes a wine-friendly salad dressing (no vinegar, see).

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup not-so-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 5 drops Tabasco

1. Roast the bell pepper until the skin is black, using your favorite technique. (I do it under the broiler, checking and turning every 30 seconds or so.) When the pepper cools enough to handle, peel the skin and remove the seeds, seed membrane and stem. Chop coarsely.

2. Combine the egg yolks, mustard, 1 Tbs. of the lemon juice and the garlic in the bowl of a food processor (a blender also works–in fact, a little better). Run for about 45 seconds. Add the roasted pepper and run for another 10 seconds.

3. Combine the two oils. While the processor is running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream. Add the rest of the lemon juice, salt, and Tabasco. Refrigerate to thicken.

Makes about 1 3/4 cups.

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