When the weather warms I get an intense cravings for nightshades – eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, and chiles! Canned tomatoes and roasted chiles come together here to make Romesco sauce, that silky, savory red pepper and almond deliciousness that hits the spot. While this sauce takes several steps to come together, I usually make it in a large batch that will last for a while in the fridge. It makes a great pizza and pasta sauce, but I’ll take it on anything from a baked potato, enchiladas, or a salad. I made this sauce the other night to accompany grilled brussel sprouts and halloumi that we ate with some crusty bread, but mix it up! Tofu, baked fish, and tacos can all get down with romesco, and it is a great dip for a party.
This recipe is based on Martha Rose Schulman’s recipe at New York Times Cooking, but over time I’ve added a few ingredients that I think make a significant tasty difference. Nutritional yeast, sherry, and pomegranate molasses make great supporting players, but feel free to substitute them with what you’ve got or omit altogether. Store the finished sauce in the refrigerator for at least one month. This recipe makes a large quantity; I have a 14 cup food processor, so I can do this all in one go. Feel free to halve the amounts if you don’t want to make multiple batches.
Makes about 36 oz.
- 4 large cloves garlic
- 8 oz canned roasted red peppers (half a typical jar – use the rest for pizza toppings, salad fixins, nachos, etc, etc)
- 32 oz canned tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 2 slices white or sourdough bread, about 2 oz
- 1/4 cup loosely packed parsley stems and leaves
- 1/2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (optional)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp pepper flakes
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt plus more to taste
- 2 tbsp sherry (substitute sherry, balsamic, or wine vinegar)
- 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
- Prepare the ingredients. Peel the garlic. Toast raw almonds in a dry skillet on high heat until they are just browned, then remove from heat. Drain the tomatoes and peppers. Roughly chop the parsley stems into 2-inch pieces. Cut the bread into large cubes, about 2-inches square.
- In a food processor, pulse the garlic into small pieces. Scrape down the sides of the food processor and add the toasted almonds and bread and pulse again into small pieces.
- Add the tomatoes, peppers, and parsley and process until smooth.
- Add pomegranate molasses, nutritional yeast, pepper flakes, paprika, smoked paprika, black pepper, and salt. Pulse to incorporate.
- With the food processor running, add sherry, then add olive oil in a slow stream. Start with 1/4 cup and add more as necessary for a smooth sauce. Blend a minute or a few until the sauce is emulsified and smooth, then refrigerate for storage. Romesco can be warmed on low heat for topping grilled or roasted vegetables, meats, or with a sourdough toast.