Romesco is an intensely flavorful and endlessly useful nut and pepper based sauce. It’s a bit time consuming to make, so I suggest making A LOT of it at once whenever you see beautiful bell peppers at a farmer’s market or they’re on sale at the grocery store. It stays in good condition for up to a week in the fridge. My favorite long-term storage is frozen in an ice cube tray (once set, remove from the tray and place in a storage container) for convenient, individual serving sizes.
Firstly you roast the peppers. If the appearance of the sauce matters to you, I’d stick with just red peppers. I roasted them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, turned them and roasted them for another 20 minutes at 500 degrees. You want them to be very charred, as black as my closet-goth soul. Immediately after removing from the oven, place the peppers in a bowl with a fitted lid (or cover with plastic wrap) to trap in steam which helps lift the skin. I let them sit for about 10-15 minutes, but if you notice difficulty removing the skin, simply let them steam longer.
I decided to experiment a bit with roasting this time, as I’ve previously always cut them in half beforehand. Today I read that it’s more difficult, but tastier, leaving the pepper whole and removing the seeds/ribs after roasting, but I actually found the opposite to be true! The skin came off much easier than it did on the halved peppers.
I processed the ingredients from hardest –> softest, starting with the hazelnuts and ending with the peppers. Slowly drizzle the oil while the food processor is running (I ended up using a combination of olive and grapeseed oil to get it my desired consistency)
This sauce really has countless uses! I’m partial to it paired roasted vegetables, but you could throw a few spoonfuls in a batch of hummus, use it as a sandwich spread, a pizza sauce.
- 2 medium roasted bell peppers
- 1 large clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons roasted hazelnuts (skins gruelingly removed)
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (I added more, but I’m kind of an A C vinegarholic)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley
- salt + pepper, to taste
Below the break is one of my favorite uses for the sauce, a roasted potato and herby quinoa salad.
You can sub the quinoa for any grain you have on hand, but I wouldn’t use a different potato (other than maybe fingerlings) With crispy golden skin and smooth, dense flesh, yellow potatoes are the perfect choice for roasting.
- 1 pound yellow potatoes
- 2 clove garlic, smashed
- 1-2 tablespoon rosemary
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked (1/2 cup dry)
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (plus more for garnishing)
- 1/3 cup romesco sauce
- 1/2 an medium avocado, sliced
- salt + pepper, to tease
- 1 green onion, diced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the potatoes into 1 inch sized pieces, making sure to keep them as uniform as possible. Drizzle with olive oil, rosemary and s+p, use your hands to mix and make sure each piece gets coated. Roast them for 40 minutes, flipping them halfway.
In a serving bowl, mix the quinoa with the chopped parsley and romesco sauce. Add the roasted potatoes, stir to combine then add the avocado being careful to not smoosh the poor tree egg. Garnish with green onions,