Romesco is a lovely word - there is something beautifully rounded about it. I like the way it sounds when I say it, as it rolls around my mouth. I think it is one of those words that looks rather beautiful on the page, whether printed or in my somewhat reubenesque handwriting. The Catalan sauce, Romesco, has a rather fulsome round beauty too.
Made from dried red sweet peppers (also known as romescos or noras). These are the same peppers that are dried and ground up to make pimentón - Spanish paprika. Blended up with olive oil, garlic and toasted nuts such as almonds and hazelnuts, it is a delicious accompaniment to grilled or barbecued fish and shellfish as well as chicken and vegetables.
In Tarragona it is traditionally eaten with calçots - a type of thin leek or spring onion, typical in that part of Spain. It is also often stirred into stews and soups of an extra dollop of flavour. Actually it's pretty lovely with much everything. I love it with spicy sausages or roast lamb. Basically serve it with anything that you would serve with mayonnaise.
Skill level: Easy
3 x plum tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
3 x garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
1 tbsp toasted almonds
1 tbsp toasted hazelnuts
2 x red peppers, deseeded, roasted, skinned and chopped
2-3 x red chillies, deseeded
4-5 tbsp olive oil (preferably Spanish)
2 tbsp sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
1 tsp smoked pimentón
salt (about 1 tsp)
a pinch of sugar (optional)
- Blitz the lot together.
- Check seasoning - you may need to add salt and a pinch of sugar.
- Job done.
- Beautiful served with barbecued quid, with a salad made of rocket leaves with chopped tomatoes and black olives, with perhaps a few anchovies.