râble – (French) saddle of meat, usually hare
radicchio – leaf vegetable, an Italian type of chicory, purply-red with white veins
radish – a root vegetable which is a member of the mustard family; the most common variety has a red skin and a white crunchy interior
ragoût – (French: ‘stew’) French-style, slow-cooked, thick, rich stew of meat and vegetable or just vegetables
ragú – (Italian: ‘stew’) Italian meat sauce typically served with pasta
raising agent – an ingredient that cause dough to rise and increase in volume, eg yeast
raita – (Hindi) Indian yogurt-based side dish
rapeseed oil – light oil used for cooking and salad dressings, very commonly used in the UK
rapini – member of the broccoli family with a bitter flavour. Known in the US as ‘broccoli raab’ or ‘broccoli rabe’.
ras-el-hanout – (Arabic: ‘head of the shop’ or ‘top of the range’) spice mix from North Africa, used similarly to garam masala in Indian cuisine
raspberry – red berry fruit which grows well in cold, damp climates, eg Scotland
ratatouille – (French) traditional Provençal vegetable stew of diced aubergine, tomato, courgettes, green peppers, onions and garlic cooked in olive oil
ravioli – small, square pasta parcels with a variety of fillings
Rayner, Jay – British journalist, writer, broadcaster and food critic
réchauffée – (French: ‘reheated’) reheated dish made with previously cooked ingredients
reconstitute – to restore a dried food to its original state by adding liquid
redcurrant – little red berry fruit. Can be eaten raw if sprinkled with sugar; more often cooked, eg as a dessert ingredient or to make a sauce to accompany savoury dishes such as venison
reduce – decrease the quantity by simmering to concentrate flavours
refresh – to immerse hot food into iced water to set their colour and to prevent further cooking
rémoulade – (French) condiment, usually mayonnaise or aioli based, and flavoured with a variety of ingredients, eg mustard, gherkins, parsley, capers, chervil and tarragon
render – process to separate animal fat from protein
rest – sometimes also called ‘relax’, leave standing after cooking. Resting meat allows time for the moisture to redistribute within the meat before it’s sliced, so that less of the juices is lost.
rhubarb – a vegetable that’s used as a fruit, usually cooked with sugar to reduce its tart flavour
rib-eye steak – superior cut of beef with rich marbling
ricotta – (Italian: ‘recooked’) curd cheese made from whey. Traditionally it’s a by-product from making other cheeses such as mozzarella or provolone.
rice – seed of grass, widely consumed as a staple in many parts of the world. It comes in a wide range of varieties.
rillettes – (French) shredded meat, usually pork, cooked in its own fat, mixed until smooth and potted, similar to pâté.
rind – the outer layer or skin of food, eg pork rind, lemon rind
ripieno – Italian term meaning “stuffed”
Riesling – white grape variety used to make wine
risotto – northern Italian rice dish cooked in a broth to a creamy consistency.
roast – cooking by dry heat, eg in an over or over a flame, often used to cook foods slowly
rocket – salad leaf with a strong peppery flavour. Also known as ‘arugula’ or ‘rucola’.
romesco – (Catalan) Catalonian sauce of tomato, almond, sherry, garlic and paprika
rosemary – culinary herb, especially good with lamb
rösti – (Swiss German) grated potatoes fried like a fritter
roulade – (French: ‘roll’) a sweet or savoury dish with stuffing and rolled
roux – mix of flour and butter cooked together slowly and used to thicken soups and sauces
rub in – to mix flour and fat together lightly with fingertips so that the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. This can also be achieved by using the pulse setting on a food processor.
rum baba – yeast cake soaked in rum and sometimes filled with whipped cream or pastry cream. Also known as ‘Savarin’.
runner bean – originally from South America, these long beans are now commonly grown throughout the world