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.
This recipe makes about 12 ounces
1 – 8 ounce jar of roasted red bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped almonds
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup tomato purée
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.
Have all of the other ingredients ready to go.
Place the drained red bell peppers in a jar of a food processor. Add the almonds, garlic, tomato purée, parsley, and red wine vinegar. Then add the hot paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt.
Begin processing. The mixture will be very coarse at first.
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.
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.
At this point, it is ready to use.
I chose to make a Mediterranean-inspired lunch using the Romesco spread on a flatbread, and with grilled shrimp placed on top.
I also added some buratta and fresh cilantro; I was out of goat cheese – shame on me.
I bet you’re already thinking about all the ways you can use this sauce. It’s exquisite, isn’t it?!!
Fortunately, Romesco sauces freezes well. Otherwise, plan to use it before a couple of weeks if you store it in the refrigerator.
And thank you daughters for my cute labels!