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Romesco sauce recipe

Authentic Romesco Sauce Recipe: A Taste of Catalonia

Today, I'm going to show you how to make a delicious and different sauce, a symbol of Catalan cuisine. This sauce made with tomatoes, garlic, and nuts, is so irresistible that you'll want to dip everything in it. And to accompany it, I've selected some tasty seasonal vegetables like eggplant, asparagus, or zucchini, among others, to create a healthy, balanced, vegan dish full of energy.

Plate of grilled veg with Spanish Romescu sauce

What is the Romesco sauce origin?

It's uncertain exactly when Romesco sauce was first created, but it's believed to have emerged after the widespread introduction of Latino-American products like tomatoes and peppers into Catalan households. It's estimated that its origins trace back to the 18th century, in the fishing villages of Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain. Romesco was a fish and seafood stew that the fisherman used to prepare with the catches that didn't sell. Each household made its version, resulting in unique variations of Romesco sauce.

Tarragona map

Tarragona

Essentially, it's a sauce that pairs well with everything; fish like cod, monkfish, seafood, rabbit, snails, pork, or roasted vegetables. It can even be also used as a base for stews (Roux), adding fish, meat or other ingredients after incorporating water or fish stock. Variations abound with additions like chilli peppers, parsley, flour, white wine, brandy, or even biscuits.

Calçots

Calçots

Like many recipes, Romesco sauce has adapted to local tastes and available seasonal ingredients in households. Today, it's used to accompany various dishes, like the famous “Calçots”, a variety of spring leeks grilled over an open flame and dipped in this luscious sauce.

Romesco Sauce Recipe with Grilled Seasonal Vegetables

  • Preparation time: 10 min
  • Cooking time: 45 min
  • Total time: 55 min

Ingredients

For the Romescu sc

Ingredients for cooking

  1. 750 g / 1.65 lb / 26.45 oz ripe tomatoes
  2. 5 cloves Garlic
  3. 2 Ñora peppers or dried red peppers
  4. 40 g / 1.41 oz / 0.09 lb toasted and peeled almonds
  5. 40 g / 1.41 oz / 0.09 lb toasted and peeled hazelnuts

Nuts

  1. 100 g / 3.53 oz / 0.22 lb bread
  2. 250 ml / 1 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  3. 50 ml / 1/5 cup Vinegar
  4. 1 tablespoon Sweet paprika
  5. 1 Dried or fresh chilli pepper
  6. Salt

For the grilled vegs

vegs

  1. 1 Aubergine
  2. 1 Courgette
  3. 1 Leek
  4. 250 g asparagus
  5. Sea salt
  6. Dash of EVOO

Method

Romescu sauce

  • Begin by roasting the tomatoes and garlic at 180 degrees Celsius / 356 F, for 45 minutes. Place the whole garlic bulb and tomatoes on a baking tray. Make a cross-cut to the tomatoes for easier cooking.
  • After 20 minutes, the garlic will be ready. Allow the tomatoes to continue roasting for the remaining time.
  • Peel the garlic cloves and set aside.

  • While the tomatoes finish roasting, prepare the remaining sauce ingredients.
  • Fry the bread in a pan with a dash of oil, then toast the almonds and hazelnuts and set them aside.

  • Meanwhile, remove the pulp from the hydrated Ñora peppers (soaked for an hour). Alternatively, you could use fried whole ñora peppers instead of just the pulp.
  • Once the tomatoes are roasted, combine all the sauce ingredients (tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt, ñora peppers, chilli pepper, paprika, almonds, hazelnuts, and bread) in a food processor. Blend them until smooth and achieve the desired thickness, similar to hummus.

  • The sauce's thickness varies depending on ingredient proportions. For a more liquid sauce, add extra tomatoes or water while blending.
  • Adjust seasoning with salt and vinegar to taste, and the sauce will be ready.
  • You can store it in a glass jar covered with oil for several weeks, using it as a dip sauce or flavour enhancer and thickener in your stews.

I've prepared grilled seasonal vegetables to accompany the Romesco sauce, creating a vegan, easy, healthy dish steeped in the Spanish tradition.

And thus concludes our recipe! I hope you enjoyed preparing this delicious dish as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you. Enjoy your meal, and I'll see you in the next recipe.

Have a Tasty Day!

1 Ratings | Rating: 5.0 out of 5
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