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Yellow Pepper Sauce

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This tart and spicy sauce is rather curious as it's a pepper sauce made without pepper. For this interpretation, I've added the grains of paradise which have a similar flavor. Not having any verjuice on hand, I substituted white wine and lemon juice.


2 to 3 slices bread, toasted
3/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. grains of paradise, ground
pinch saffron
1/4 tsp. salt


Tear toast into pieces and place in a bowl with wine, vinegar, and lemon juice. Allow to soak, stirring occasionally, until bread turns to mush. Strain through a fine sieve into a saucepan, pressing well to get as much the liquid as possible out of the bread. Add spices and bring to a low boil, simmering until thick. Serve warm.

Source [The Viandier of Taillevent, T. Scully (trans.)]: Poivre jaunet. Broiés gingembre, saffren, pain hallé, et deffaites de vin aigre et faites boullir; et acuns y metent graine et girofle au verjus.

Source [Le Viandier de Taillevent, J. Prescott (trans.)]: Yellow Pepper [Sauce]. Crush ginger, saffron and browned bread, steep in vinegar, and boil. Some cooks add grains of paradise, cloves and verjuice. (BN manuscript, p. 33.)

Source [Le Ménagier de Paris, J. Hinson (trans.)]: YELLOW OR BITTER PEPPER. Take ginger, saffron, then take toasted bread soaked in liquid from the meat (and even better is a little cabbage-water), then boil, and when boiling add the vinegar.

Published: October 23, 2006

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