Make Ahead

The Case of the Promiscuous Romesco

by:
August 24, 2010
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

Romesco sauce is one of the secret weapons in my kitchen arsenal. Think of it as an unexpected drone strike next to your shellfish. It’s also pretty handy with pork or grilled onions. With a little crusty bread you are in the mood for love---well, except maybe for the onion part. —pierino

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: pierino is a spirited cook with a penchant for olive oil.
WHAT: A punchy, willful sauce that begs to brighten up anything on your plate.
HOW: After minimal amounts of chopping and roasting, it all ends with a quick blitz from a food processor.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This sauce is like our favorite black t-shirt: it goes with everything. And the very best part? You probably have all of the ingredients lurking in your pantry already. —The Editors

  • Serves 8, i hope
Ingredients
  • 2 to 4 dried peppers of your choice, but I like Spanish ?oras* or cascabels
  • 2 slices stale, crusty bread
  • 1 bowl of cold water
  • 3/4 cup light Spanish olive oil, like Arbequina
  • 3 to 4 ounces marcona almonds
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled, and coarsely chopped
  • Sea salt
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. For your romesco, cut the tops off of the peppers which you have soaked in that cold water for about two hours. Seed them and cut them roughly.
  2. Lightly toast the almonds. You can do this on the stovetop or in a sheet pan in the oven. I told you this was easy.
  3. Cut up your dried out bread into cubes, and then chop the garlic.
  4. Breathe deeply, this is not that hard.
  5. Place above ingredients in your food processor, and drizzle in olive oil and vinegar. Hit this with sea salt and there's your sauce.
  6. *Note: you can find ?oras online through La Española, but whatever dried pepper you use, please take note of the Scoville units. This is not a super-hot sauce. Peruvian dried peppers are just way too hot for this. The background character to romesco is almost floral.

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Review
Standup commis flâneur, and food historian. Pierino's background is in Italian and Spanish cooking but of late he's focused on frozen desserts. He is now finishing his cookbook, MALAVIDA! Can it get worse? Yes, it can. Visit the Malavida Brass Knuckle cooking page at Facebook and your posts are welcome there.