Romesco Sauce

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My brain is old. At least, that’s my excuse. Or maybe my brain is just full of food-related trivia. Because occasionally I come across a culinary term or food name and I can’t, for the life of me, remember what the heck it is.

But Romesco is one of those I remember. But it’s only because of a trick, not because it’s more significant in any way.

You see, I can remember Ro-mesco, because it reminds me to think of Ro-asted red bell peppers. And that’s exactly what this sauce is. The base, at least, is roasted red bell peppers. It’s extremely easy to make. In fact, you can use jarred roasted red bell peppers instead of roasting your own.

But the taste? It’s to me, the best flavor ever of anything that doesn’t contain cheese. And that’s saying a lot. If you’ve never made Romesco sauce before, it’s high time you did. You will slather this beautiful red sauce on anything, including yourself, if you run out of breads and meats. It’s just heavenly.

Besides the red bell pepper flavor, the sauce includes almonds, garlic, paprika, and cayenne. It’s Spanish in origin. And similar to a pesto, it all comes together with some olive oil. Only a food processor or blender is needed to make this. In 5 minutes tops you will get the opportunity to smell and taste heaven. Promise.

Romesco Sauce
This recipe makes about 12 ounces

1 – 8 ounce jar of roasted red bell peppers
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1/2 cup chopped almonds
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup tomato puree
1/3 cup coarsely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, depending on your taste
1/2 teaspoon salt

Drain the red bell peppers before you begin.
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Have all of the other ingredients ready to go.
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Place the drained red bell peppers in a jar of a food processor. Add the almonds, garlic, tomato puree, parsley, and red wine vinegar. Then add the hot paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt.
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Begin processing. The mixture will be very coarse at first.
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Continue processing, adding the olive oil a little at a time. It is also important to wipe down the sides of the jar with a spatula.
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After all of the oil has been added, process until the sauce is smooth. There will be some texture to it, but it will still be a smooth sauce.
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At this point, it is ready to use.
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I chose to make a Mediterranean-inspired lunch using the Romesco spread on a flatbread, and with grilled shrimp placed on top.

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I also added some buratta and fresh cilantro; I was out of goat cheese – shame on me.

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I bet you’re already thinking about all the ways you can use this sauce. It’s exquisite, isn’t it?!!

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Fortunately, Romesco sauces freezes well. Otherwise, plan to use it before a couple of weeks if you store it in the refrigerator.
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And thank you daughters for my cute labels!

61 thoughts on “Romesco Sauce

  1. Ooh, this sounds so good! I’m always a fan of anything with roasted peppers (as in the Arroz con Pollo I made the other day), and have even roasted my own. But I haven’t made this sauce. Yet. Definitely on my must-try list!

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  2. Romesco sauce is so delicious and one of my favorite sauces. I usually pair it with marinated, grilled chicken kebob, saffron couscous and grilled scallions (from a Sunset recipe). Your photos are just gorgeous, and you flavors are so clean. You have given me pause – Romesco is so versatile.

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  3. sigh. I do that all the time.
    How easy is Romesco? And that lunch looks so delicious, thanks to all those lovely photos.
    I’m so excited, now that I have a food processor I can make all these fun little sauces in seconds!

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  4. I didn’t know the ingredients in Romesco. I’d have been eating it in restaurants before now had I known peppers were the main ingredient. I am happy to hear it freezes well, too. And no, you’re not old. Your “hard drive” is just full. Delete a few items to make a bit more space! :-)

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  5. It doesn’t get any more versatile than Romesco. We make it in the spring to go with grilled spring onions, then some leftover in the fridge is rapidly consumed leading to another batch–and so it goes until sometime around Thanksgiving we give it a rest. If you’ve got it around in the summer, it goes with ANYTHING that comes off your grill. Nice. Ken

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  6. I have been a fan of this sauce since I saw Bourdain dunking charred green onions in it in the Basque region of Spain. (I miss that show.) Good to know it freezes well and I do love your tags. This is a great idea for next Xmas. Thanks, Mimi.

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  7. Gorgeous sauce. I’ve roasted peppers a few times but never made this sauce. Even though it doesn’t have cheese in it and is delicious without it, I’m sure it wouldn’t be terrible with additional shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano either ;)

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