One of my New Year's resolutions is to try my hand at sauces.
I cook a lot of fresh foods at home, but I feel like I can create more flavor by exploring beautiful sauces à la Julia Child (well, a girl can dream, can't she?). So here's my first one of the year -- my quick and easy romesco sauce recipe!
Romesco is a Spanish sauce that incorporates almonds, garlic, roasted peppers, roasted tomatoes, and toasted bread. It's thick, crunchy, tangy, and goes with just about anything.
So for my family-friendly meal, I wanted to keep it simple. First, I made a basic chicken and baby green sandwich on French bread, but for my condiment, I slathered on my romesco sauce. It brought a tomatoe-y, peppery brightness that brought my sandwich to life.
My seven-year-old daughter, Lainey, even liked it. I think she thought it was just a flavorful, thick tomato sauce and didn't know she was getting other healthy ingredients like almonds and peppers. I think the best part for her was that it wasn't too spicy.
Quick & Easy Romesco Sauce RecipeIngredients:
- 2 cups of peeled tomatoes
- 1 cup of roasted peppers
- 1 cup of cubed bread
- 2/3 cup sliced almonds
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Spanish paprika (pimentón)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- fresh herbs (thyme or oregano) to garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place tomatoes (~4 medium) and peppers on a baking sheet, and roast for about 30 minutes. I used a mixture of red bell peppers (2), and sweet peppers (4). If you want a spicier sauce, you can add spicier peppers.
Take them out of the oven when they are cool enough to handle, and peel and seed them. Don't worry about removing all the seeds.
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the almonds to a skillet on medium high heat. Keep stirring the almonds until they just start to brown, then add the cubed bread and two diced garlic cloves. Continue stirring until the bread is firm and starting to brown.
Add the almonds, bread, and garlic into a food processor, and pulse for about a minute until the almonds are crumb-like in size. Add tomatoes, peppers, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, vinegar, paprika, and salt, then pulse for another minute. You want a thick rustic texture, so don't over process. Add salt to taste.
I like to garnish it with some fresh herbs and serve it warm, but it can be refrigerated and is good for several days. Delish!
It also works great as a dipping sauce for French fries. Again, the roasted pepper, the thickness from the toasted bread, and the crunch from the almonds were such great additions to my crispy fries. I would choose romesco over ketchup anyday.