SPANISH ROMESCO SAUCE
Today I’m sharing another one of my traditional Spanish recipes. This time we’ll be making Spanish Romesco Sauce. Romesco Sauce is to Spain what Pesto is to Italy. This rich, creamy, nutty sauce is super versatile, as it compliments grilled meat, fish and vegetables alike.
I prepared my Spanish Romesco Sauce and served it with salmon over a bed of barley and sauteed kale for a recent Birthday Dinner Party. However, I was inspired to make this dish after eating a similar meal that my son Nathan prepared when I visited him recently in Washington, DC to meet my new grandson for the first time. (I’m in love all over again:)
Nathan served his salmon with Romesco Sauce over quinoa risotto along with sauteed swiss chard. It was delicious and beautiful and surprisingly quick and easy to make.
Romesco Sauce is typically made with Spanish Marcona almonds. My recipe is a bit of a departure from the typical, as in lieu of the almonds I used toasted hazelnuts. So, let me show you how to make my recipe for Spanish Romesco Sauce. Here is what you will need to make this sauce.
Start by roasting 2 red bell peppers, 4 ripe plum tomatoes and 1/2 cup hazelnuts. Drizzle the peppers and tomatoes with a little extra virgin olive oil and pop them in the oven, preheated to 400º F.
Roast for about 30 minutes until the peppers and tomatoes are wilted and the nuts are toasty brown. Let them cool enough to handle.
Using your fingers, pull the skin from the peppers and discard it. Break open the peppers, remove the seeds and stems and discard them too.
Then peel the tomatoes. After roasting the skin is easily removed by hand.
Break the tomatoes open, remove the seeds and discard them.
Try to retain as much of the juice and flesh as possible by keeping the peppers and tomatoes in the baking dish as you prep them.
Now, transfer the roasted peppers and tomatoes into a blender along with the resulting juice.
Next, mince 3 fresh garlic cloves……
and transfer the garlic into the blender along with the peppers and tomatoes.
OK, now here is another example of how you should do as I say and not as I did. I am referring to the fact that I clearly over-roasted my hazel nuts. So, be sure to check on your hazelnuts as they roast alongside the peppers and tomatoes. They may toast up faster than the vegetables, so remove them when they are golden brown. Transfer the roasted nuts to a dish towel and rub them around in the towel to remove the skin from the nuts.
Then, add the nuts to your blender. By the way, if you don’t have hazelnuts on hand, you can substitute almonds (Marcona Almonds are preferable) or pine nuts in this recipe.
Now, add 1/2 cup of plain bread crumbs to a small frying pan and drizzle in 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil.
Cook the bread crumbs, stirring constantly, until they are golden brown.
Add the toasted bread crumbs to the blender.
Now comes the spicy part. In Spain they produce what is no doubt the best paprika in the world! Paprika (Pimentón in Spanish) is an essential and very common ingredient in many Spanish recipes, and it is an essential ingredient in this recipe. So, please do yourself a very big favor and buy yourself some SPANISH Paprika. You will be so glad you did! I always have a lot of Spanish Paprika on hand in my spice cabinet. I load up on it every time I go to Spain. I tell my dad to buy me Paprika every time he goes to Spain. I buy it at Williams Sonoma for a pretty penny. But, lately I have discovered it at of all places, Home Goods. Who woulda thunk? Yes, Home Goods has become my go-to place for lots of gourmet foods at excellent prices. I find wonderful gourmet pastas at Home Goods too.
Anywho, back to my recipe for Spanish Romesco Sauce. So, now it’s time to add 1-1/2 teaspoons of Smoked Spanish Paprika to the blender. Notice I said “smoked”. Spanish paprika comes in several forms: sweet (dulce), hot (picante) and smoked. For this recipe you need to use the smoked form of paprika because it gives it a rich, roasted flavor that you will not achieve otherwise.
Now, also add 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, (not pictured) 1 tablespoon of sherry wine vinegar and 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil to the blender.
Place the lid securely on your blender ……
and blend until your Spanish Romesco Sauce looks like this.
It should be smooth and creamy and thick, almost to a paste consistency. Now, give it a taste and see what the pesto of Spain tastes like. It’s good, isn’t it?
So there you have it: Spanish Romesco Sauce.
Stay tuned and tomorrow I’ll be showing you how to make one of my favorite cake recipes: Banana Poppy Seed Cake.
- 2 Red Bell Peppers
- 4 Plum Tomatoes
- 3 Cloves Fresh Garlic
- ½ Cup Hazelnuts
- ½ Cup Plain Bread Crumbs
- ¼ Cup + 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1-1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Mild Paprika
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Sherry Wine Vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place red bell peppers, plum tomatoes and hazelnuts on baking sheet and place in oven.
- Roast about 30 minutes until peppers begin to blacken and skin bubbles up.
- Watch the hazelnuts which may require less time to toast than the peppers & tomatoes.
- Roast the nuts until they are toasty brown.
- Remove nuts from oven and roll in a dish towel to remove the skin.
- Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, pull off the skin and discard it.
- Tear open the peppers, remove the stem and seeds and discard them.
- Tear open the tomatoes, remove the seeds and discard them, retaining the juice and flesh.
- Place the roasted peppers, tomatoes and hazelnuts in a blender.
- Drizzle 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a small fry pan.
- Add the breadcrumbs to the pan and cook, stirring constantly until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
- Add breadcrumbs to the blender along with the paprika, salt, pepper, sherry wine vinegar and ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil.
- Blend until smooth. Sauce will be thick and somewhat pasty.
- Serve at room temperature with your favorite grilled fish, meat or vegetables.
If you enjoyed this post, please help me spread the word by sharing it on your Facebook Page. You can “Like” my Facebook Page here.
If you enjoyed the photos, please “Pin Them” on your Pinterest page. You can follow my Pinterest Page here.
If you’d like to read After Orange County every time a new article is posted, please “Subscribe” to the blog using the Subscription Box above.
Do you Tweet? Please Tweet the word and follow my Twitter Page here.
Follow my blog on BlogLovin.com
All opinions expressed in this post are my own. All photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission.
Thank you for visiting!