This sauce is made with nuts (almonds, pine nuts and/or hazelnuts), garlic, olive oil, bixto peppers and nyora peppers (different red peppers varieties). Other common ingredients that can be added to this sauce are tomatoes, red wine and onions. Romesco can be a perfect accompaniment for many dishes, including escargots, fish, seafood, some meats (such as poultry or lamb) and vegetables. However, this sauce is mostly used in Catalonia with barbecued or roasted calçots, which are also typical Catalan dish.
An easy recipe to prepare this delicious romesco sauce is included below:
Romesco sauce (nut and red pepper-based sauce)
- 12 blanched almonds (you can use unpeeled almonds, but you will have to blanch them yourself)
- 10-12 hazelnuts
- 1 garlic bulb
- 1 slice of stale bread
- 1 ripe large tomato
- 2 large roasted red peppers, drained
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup red wine/sherry vinegar
- 1 small hot pepper (optional)
- Toast the almonds and hazelnuts slightly in the oven, for about 8 minutes. If you want to roast the bread instead of frying it, roast it together with the nuts.
- If you prefer to fry the bread, pour 3-5 tablespoons of virgin olive oil into a frying pan and fry it until slightly browned. Then remove from pan and set aside on a paper towel.
- Crush the roasted nuts into the food processor until finely ground.
- Cut the tomatoes into big pieces.
- If you have fried the bread, sauté chopped tomatoes, in the same pan for 5 minutes. Add some more olive oil if needed.
- Remove pan from heat.
- Preheat oven to 300 °F.
- Rub off excess dry skin from the bulb of garlic.
- Put the bulb of garlic on a baking sheet, add a drizzle of olive oil on top of it and roast for about 20 minutes in preheated oven.
- If you are using unpeeled almonds, you can blanch them while the garlic is roasting. To do it, place the almonds in a bowl. Boil some water and pour to barely cover the almonds. Let them stand for just 1 minute, rinse under cold water and drain. Pat dry the almonds and peel.
- Once the bread is cold, cut it into pieces and process with the ground nuts.
- Add sautéed tomatoes and process again.
- Peel the roasted garlic.
- Add the peeled garlic and roasted red peppers to the processor. Blend all the ingredients until you get a thick paste, adding the oil and vinegar while processing.
- Add salt to taste.
- You can store romesco sauce in refrigerator for up to 1 week.