For today’s dish we are going to make one of my staples. Romesco sauce is a dish that I recommend everyone learns and just keeps in their repertoire for when they are looking for a fast and exciting sauce. It is good on so many things, such as grilled meats, fish, or veggies (asparagus being a personal favorite) or used as a dip for a nice appetizer. After I make a batch, I always have some left over and I just eat it on crackers and couldn’t be happier.
When you make this dish, don’t worry too much about the exact proportions. The size of the bell peppers will make it a little different each time. What you are looking for is a very thick, sweet and savory sauce with a nice, rich orange color. When you are making it you can change the flavor a lot by changing the cheese you use. It is important you use a fairly strong cheese or it will just taste like roasted bell peppers. I like a sharp white cheddar, parmesan or even goat cheese. Just don’t use a blue cheese or it will look really gross.
This is not a traditional Romesco sauce. This version is a lot simpler and uses easier-to-find ingredients. Traditionally, the sauce calls for dried red peppers, has no cheese in it, and often uses bread as a thickener. Also, many traditional recipes have hazelnuts in them. All of these work in this recipe, and all are very yummy. If you want to add a little kick to it, add some dried ancho chili peppers that have been soaked in warm water for 10 minutes.
This recipe makes about 3 ½ cups of sauce, enough dip for a small party or for a sauce for about 8-10 plates. Don’t worry: it will keep for a week refrigerated, maybe more, but I have never had any left over that long.
4 roasted red bell peppers or 1 14oz can of roasted red bell peppers (drained)
1 clove garlic
4oz blanched almonds (apx ¾ cup)
3oz sharp cheddar or parmesan
2Tbsp red wine vinegar
¼ cup oil
½ tsp salt (adjust to taste, may need more or less depending on the cheese)
1) Roast the red peppers. Once cool, remove the blackened skin.
2) Either roast the garlic and onions in the oven or sauté them until golden brown.
3) Roast the almonds lightly to help bring out their flavor.
4) Put everything but the oil and salt in a food processor.
5) Turn processor on and slowly add the oil.
6) Blend until mostly smooth, about 7 minutes.
7) Add salt to taste.
8) Serve and enjoy!