Prep 20 mins
Cook 0 mins
This classic condiment from the province of Catalonia, Spain, is a vivid orange-red, nut-thickened sauce that is extemely versatile. Try it with cooked shellfish, fish, lamb chops,and vegetables such as asparagus, potatoes, beets, or grilled baby leeks; it's also great with eggs, crusty rustic bread . . . just use your imagination (I've even used it with hot pasta, although not at all traditional)! The "keeping quotient" for the sauce is high, but do make sure to bring it to room temperature prior to serving, as it is not good cold. Stir well to incorporate the oil. This particular recipe is my version, culled from several different sources.
- 1 slice country bread, lightly rubbed with olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup natural whole almond
- 1⁄4 cup hazelnuts
- 4 cloves garlic, to taste (or more)
- 1 -2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (see Note)
- 4 fat plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1 -2 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika or 2 teaspoons bittersweet paprika or 2 teaspoons spanish hot paprika
- 1 large red bell peppers or 1 large pimentos, roasted
- 1⁄4 cup red wine or 1⁄4 cup sherry wine vinegar
- 1⁄2 cup virgin olive oil, plus
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, preferably spanish
- salt, to taste
- fresh milled pepper, to taste
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, toast the bread, almonds, hazelnuts, and peeled garlic cloves until fragrant.
- Alternately, you may roast these ingredients in a 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, watching carefully to make sure they don't burn.
- When cool, grind them, along with the red pepper flakes, in a food processor.
- Add everything else but the vinegar and oil, processing until smooth (stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the processing bowl).
- With the machine running, gradually add the vinegar and then the oil.
- Taste and make sure the sauce has plenty of piquancy and seasoning.
- Cover and store the Romesco sauce in the refrigerator.
- Note: For greater complexity and heat, use a more potent type of pepper flake such as maresh, urfa, or Aleppo.
Wonderful departure from a traditional red sauce. The flavor was deceptively rich, leaving my guest to wonder what, if not cheese, was giving the sauce its hearty texture. I used fresh lemon juice and zest instead of vinegar, but felt it acheived the same acidic balance the sauce requires. Thank you for introducing a Spanish element to my repertoire!