Monday, January 27, 2014

Romesco Sauce - Blasted Vegetables Part 2

When Sarah suggested that she wanted to share her recipe for blasted vegetables, I thought it would be fun to make a sauce for them.  The vegetables are rockin' on their own but sometimes you just want a little something extra. Adding the Romesco Sauce gives them subtle sophistication (and God knows, I'm always striving to be more sophisticated - LOL!).

The cool part is that the Romesco Sauce is about as simple as can be as you'll see in the video.

The sauce originated in Catalonia, Spain and usually include almonds, pine nuts, and/or hazelnuts, roasted garlic, olive oil and sweet dried peppers, roasted tomatoes, red wine vinegar and onion.

Romesco Sauce
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 head of garlic roasted, see note
3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) Marcona almonds
1 15oz jar roasted red bell peppers or Caratilla Piquillo Peppers, drained
2 tbsp Spanish smoked paprika (Pimenton de la Vera, dulce)
2 tbsp sherry vinegar (My favorite is Sanchez Romante Vinegre de Jerez)
2 tbsp olive oil (I used Dauro Olive Oil)
2 tsp kosher salt or Trapani coarse sea salt
1 tbsp Italian parsley, minced

Squeeze the soft roasted garlic out of the head by gently grasping the papery skin and easing the garlic cloves into a waiting bowl. Combine the garlic and all ingredients except parsley in a food processor and process until well combined.  There should be some texture to the almonds but the sauce shouldn't be chunky.

Transfer the mixture to a storage container, stir in the parsley and cover.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Note: roasting garlic is simple. I slice the top off a head of garlic to expose the gloves. I place the head in a small ramekin or baking dish. Then I pour about 3 tablespoons of olive oil over it and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 300F until the garlic is golden and gooshie. Yes, that's the technical description. 

In addition to serving Romesco with Blasted Vegetables, try some of these suggestions!
  • Spread on toasted baguettes.
  • Use as a dipping sauce for fresh or grilled vegetables, it's particularly delicious with grilled green onions or roasted slices of red potatoes.
  • Great with grilled chicken though it is perhaps most often served with seafood including grilled fish, shrimp and scallops. If you serve with fish, try adding mince fennel fronds or mint.
  • Toss roasted fingerling potatoes with Romesco and top with some chopped parsley and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper. 
If you like this recipe and want to learn more, join me for a Spanish cooking class at! By the way, in full disclosure - yes, if you click on a link and purchase any of the products listed in the recipe, I would get a little percentage of the sale. 

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