Make Ahead

Roasted Romesco Sauce

August 21, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Makes Two cups
Author Notes

This is a Spanish sauce from the Catalan region that is traditionally stirred into seafood stew. This is my take on the classic with the addition of roasted tomatoes, hazelnut and almond oils, paprika and a bit of dry sherry. I serve it with grilled fish, with crudités and slathered on roast chicken sandwiches. It’s one of my go-to condiments. - cheese1227 —cheese1227

Test Kitchen Notes

With one foot over the fence in the last juicy bits of summer and the other securely planted in the roasted warmth that we begin to crave in autumn, cheese1227’s aptly-crafted romesco sauce is sure to please everyone during this transitional time of year. The brightness of the tomatoes and bell peppers round out nicely with the mellow spiciness of the poblanos and roasted garlic, and the toasted nuts and handmade croutons contribute to a lovely texture that is perfectly suited for slathering, smearing, tossing, dipping... We loved it on grilled manchego panini and atop sautéed shrimp and linguini. This recipe makes quite a lot, which is a good thing, because the ways to enjoy it are endless. - Jennifer Ann —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Two large beefsteak tomatoes, cored
  • Two large red bell peppers
  • 2 poblano peppers (you can use any chili which hits between 1000-2000 on the Scoville scale , such as Rocotilla, Passila, Mulato or Ancho you just want a bit of heat)
  • 1 head of garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • One one-inch thick slice of good white bread, cut in cubes
  • ¼ cup almonds, blanched (whole, halved or slivered all work)
  • ¼ cup hazelnuts, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup oil (I use a mixture of hazelnut and almond oil because I happened to have them, but olive oil works well too.)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 2-4 tablespoons water (if needed to thin the sauce)
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
  1. Set oven to 300 degrees. (I use the convection roast setting as it speeds things along.)
  2. Cut the top off the garlic bulb. Brush it with oil, wrap in foil and roast until the garlic is soft.
  3. Line a jelly roll pan with tin foil. Place the tomato halves cut side up, rub with olive oil. Roast until the tomatoes are roasted enough so that they slip out of their skins. That will take 30-40 minutes. Employ your favorite method for roasting the peppers so they can be peeled. I hold them over a gas flame until charred, then place them in a bowl covered with plastic wrap for 30 minutes. (Or in a pinch I open a jar and grab two already peeled ones!)
  4. In a dry skillet, lightly toast the almonds and the hazelnuts. Set aside to cool.
  5. Pour one tablespoon of olive oil into skillet and put over medium high heat. When oil is hot add bread cubes and sauté them until golden. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
  6. When the roasted vegetables are cool enough to handle, slip them all out of their skins and into a food processor. Add the cooled nuts, bread and paprika. Process until you have a smooth paste. Then pour in the oils, vinegar and sherry. Add water if the mixture is too thick. You want it thin enough to slide off a spoon.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Sauce will keep refrigerated for about a week.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Hannah
  • Table9
  • pierino
  • monkeymom
  • cheese1227
I am an excellent eater (I have been all my life). I’m a pretty good cook (Ask my kids!). And my passable writing improves with alcohol (whether it's the writer or the reader that needs to drink varies by sentence.). I just published my first cookbook, Green Plate Special, which focuses on delicious recipes that help every day cooks eat more sustainably.

15 Reviews

Hannah July 18, 2023
I don’t have sherry, and it seems silly to buy it for that one tablespoon - is there anything else I could use to replace it?
Camila M. May 8, 2012
When do you add in the roasted garlic??
Camila M. May 8, 2012
When do you add in the roasted garlic??
Camila M. May 8, 2012
When do you add in the roasted garlic??
cheese1227 May 8, 2012
I include them in the "roasted vegetables" label in Step 6.
Table9 October 25, 2010
This would be great over a stuffed red bell pepper!
cheese1227 October 25, 2010
That would be a great pairing. If you wanted a spicier, more raw version, checkout pierono's firey version.
Table9 October 25, 2010
Thanks for the suggestion!
pierino August 24, 2010
In fact I have my own romesco in this competition, but good luck nonetheless!. I agree with you on the heat factor. But I think you can go as high as 10,000 Scovilles without harming it too much. It really is not a "hot" sauce. When you get up to the 40,000 level you are in trouble. It's not Sriracha.
cheese1227 August 24, 2010
I could see adding chilis that hot if you were running with a romesco with raw ingredients. But I think with the roasted variety, you're going for a more subtle, sweeter sauce. I love them both, but they are almost different sauces. Good luck to you as well!
monkeymom August 23, 2010
This looks awesome cheese1227. I'm so looking forward to trying this. Is it okay to use just almonds or do you think the hazelnuts are a must?
cheese1227 August 23, 2010
They are not a must, but they make it more interesting. By definition, you only need garlic, roasted red peppers and almonds.
cheese1227 August 22, 2010
I am having so much delight eating the batch I made to make sure my recipe was one!! Last night with bread and cheese. Tonight with roasted potatoes.
testkitchenette August 22, 2010
I'm with drbabs on this. I love romesco so much! I've even used it as a sauce in lieu of marinara on a pizza.
drbabs August 21, 2010