It’s no secret that I love foods with a little bit of a spicy kick. More often than not, the spice is paired with bright, acidic flavors that I already love, and adding in the heat makes the dish practically addictive.
That’s certainly the case with Romesco Sauce. This sweet, smoky, bright orange sauce comes from the Catalonian region of Spain, where local fishermen originally paired it with seafood. Over time, people realized that this sauce goes beautifully with a variety of dishes, from chicken to lamb, and even to pasta! Its thick, creamy texture means that this traditional dipping sauce even works as a sandwich spread.
No shame, I’m tempted to put this on everything.
When you make this sauce, the biggest chunk of time will be taken by roasting the peppers. If you just don’t have an extra hour to kill, then jarred roasted peppers will still work beautifully. When you try this sauce, it’s going to be your new favorite on everything!
1 red bell pepper
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 TBSP tomato paste
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp fennel
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
To roast the pepper, preheat the oven to 450F. Cut the pepper in half, then remove the stem, seeds, and membranes. Place the pepper cut-side down on a foil-lined baking sheet, and roast in the oven until the skins are evenly blackened, about 45-50 minutes (though if your peppers are a little smaller, they may take less time). Remove from the oven, cover for 10 minutes to loosen the skins. Once cool enough to handle, peel and remove the skins.
Combine the pepper with the almonds, garlic, tomato paste, and seasonings in a blender. Pulse until mostly smooth, then slowly add in the olive oil and blend until completely smooth. Serve immediately, or cover and store in the fridge for up to a week.
Makes about 1 cup.