Romesco is a classic match to patatas bravas, a Spanish bar-food snack. The way the mild heat of the peppers combines with the tart sherry vinegar to cut through the fattiness of the almonds is a prime example of balance. Although grilled bread is traditionally used in romesco, you can leave it out. Adjust the recipe by skipping step 1 and adding an extra ¼ cup of almonds. —Alison Cayne
extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to taste
slice of sourdough or country bread
skinless Marcona almonds
16-ounce can piquillo peppers, drained and roughly chopped
smoked paprika or pimentón
Fine sea salt
sherry vinegar, plus more to taste
In This Recipe
Make the eggs and toast, and set aside. Rinse and dry the greens. Spread the Romesco on the toast and lay the eggs on top. Top with greens and drizzle olive oil on top. Finish with toasted almonds.
Cover the bottom of a large sauté pan with about a tablespoon of the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the bread and toast it until browned on both sides,
30 seconds to 1 minute per side. Set aside to cool. Cut into ½-inch cubes. (You should have about 1 cup.)
Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel and place back over medium-high heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan again, about 2 tablespoons.
When the oil begins to shimmer, add the almonds and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic cloves are golden but not too brown and the almonds are aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir in the piquillo peppers and paprika. Season with salt and sauté for an additional minute or so.
Transfer all ingredients—including the cooking liquid, the bread cubes, and the sherry vinegar—to a food processor. Blend until you achieve the desired consistency, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Some people like their romesco super-smooth and creamy, while others like a bit more texture and bite.
Add more salt, vinegar, or olive oil as desired for taste and texture. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours to let the flavors meld before serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.