Sunday, June 21, 2009

Romesco sauce

At our department potluck earlier this year, a coworker signed up to bring grilled meat and vegetables with Spanish sauce. What the heck is Spanish sauce? It turns out it was Romesco sauce. Yum!!! As I understand it, there are different types of Romesco sauce for different types of food, but this is the version she makes. I made it to bring to Father's Day dinner; Mr. Fix-it grilled the veggies. It was a hit!

Romesco Sauce
for grilled vegetables, meat, and seafood

1 TBS olive oil (I used 2 teaspoons and thought that was enough)
1 large slice white bread, 1/2-inch thick (some online recipes I read said to remove the crust; I just removed the driest parts)
1/2 cup toasted whole almonds, okay to use blanched (I used slivered almonds)
1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1 large clove garlic, coarsely chopped
4 oz whole roasted red bell peppers or pimentos from a jar, fire-roasted preferred, cut up (I used a mix of both since that's what I had on hand and I did not cut up the bell pepper)
1/2 pound ripe tomatoes, chopped coarse
1/4 tsp paprika or pimenton dulce from Spain
1/4 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (my friend uses sherry vinegar, but I could only find red wine vinegar when I was shopping)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat and fry bread in it until golden on both sides. Watch carefully because the bread will turn from golden to burnt in a flash (ask me how I know).

2. Grind almonds fine in food processor, then add torn up bread, pepper flakes, and garlic, then grind some more.

3. Add red peppers/pimentos, tomatoes, paprika, salt, and pepper, then puree to form a smooth paste.

4. Add vinegar and puree a bit more.

5. With motor running, add oil slowly in a thin stream.

6. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Best made a day ahead, stored in the refrigerator, and served at room temperature.

I like the sauce with bread and my friend suggests using it as a pasta sauce also.

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