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
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 http://ushotstuff.com/Heat.Scale.htm , such as Rocotilla, Passila, Mulato or Ancho you just want a bit of heat)
1 head of garlic
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
In This Recipe
Set oven to 300 degrees. (I use the convection roast setting as it speeds things along.)
Cut the top off the garlic bulb. Brush it with oil, wrap in foil and roast until the garlic is soft.
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!)
In a dry skillet, lightly toast the almonds and the hazelnuts. Set aside to cool.
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.
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.
Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Sauce will keep refrigerated for about a week.
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.