Bouillabaisse is traditionally served in two courses. First, only the broth is used. It is poured into bowls over pieces of toasted bread which have a condiment called “rouille” spread over them. Rouille is a garlicky red-pepper paste, and according to the Marseille charter is an essential component to a bouillabaisse. For the second course, the fish is served by itself on a platter.
Whether you want to use two steps or not, fresh bread is always a great side dish with a bouillabaisse. It is fantastic for sopping up the flavorful broth.
If you would like to try traditional rouille with your stew, the following recipe is delicious and easy to prepare:
1 roasted and peeled red bell pepper
1 roasted hot red chili pepper or ground cayenne pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 small peeled garlic clove
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs or finely chopped almonds
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
Fine sea salt, about 1/2 teaspoon or to taste
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Puree everything except for the olive oil in a food processor until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil while processing to form a paste.
Spread over toasted, rustic bread and serve on the side of a bowl of bouillabaisse.