This classic Catalan sauce is often thickened with fried bread; here, I have used almonds, which are also traditional and make the recipe gluten-free. Romesco sauce is a wonderful finish for grilled fish and seafood (especially shrimp), poultry and meat (especially pork) and even vegetables. It is actually a slight variation on a sauce served in the province of Tarragona in Catalonia, where it stars in an annual celebration along with a local onion known as the calcot.
- Food processor
- 6 cloves garlic (unpeeled)
- 6 Roma or plum tomatoes (about 1 lb/500 g)
- 1 red bell pepper
- Olive oil for brushing
- 1⁄2 cup whole blanched almonds, lightly toasted 125 mL
- 2 tsp ground ñora pepper or sweet paprika 10 mL
- 1 red finger chile, chopped (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil 125 mL
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 30 mL
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Makes about 3 cups (750 mL)
- Chile Savvy
- For a deliciously different dish, serve Romesco Sauce with grilled shishito or padrón peppers (see page 77) as dippers.
- Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C)
- 1. Place garlic, tomatoes and bell pepper on a baking sheet and brush with oil. Roast in preheated oven until garlic and tomatoes are browned and wrinkled, and pepper is blackened, about 25 minutes. (The garlic and tomatoes will be done before the pepper; remove them as completed.)
- 2. Transfer garlic and tomatoes to a plate and let cool. Place pepper in a bowl and cover with a plate. Set aside to sweat. When vegetables are cool, squeeze garlic out of skins; lift skins off tomatoes, if desired; and peel and seed pepper. Transfer to food processor fitted with the metal blade.
- 3. Add almonds, ñora pepper and finger chile (if using). Process until vegetables are puréed and almonds are finely chopped. Add oil and vinegar and process until blended. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- 4. Transfer to a sauceboat. Cover and refrigerate until flavors are developed, at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.
- Vegan Friendly
- Gluten-Free Friendly
- To toast almonds: In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast almonds, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Immediately transfer to a small bowl to prevent burning.
- Ñora is the traditional pepper used to season romesco sauce, but paprika or another mild dried chile makes a very acceptable substitute.
Judith Finlayson https://judithfinlayson.com/