October 24, 2013

Romesco Sauce Recipe



Romesco Sauce
This classic Catalonian sauce, made with roasted peppers, almonds, tomatoes and roasted garlic, originates from Spain and is packed full of flavor.  Earthy, smoky, and slightly sweet with just a hint of heat, Romesco Sauce is the perfect condiment for fall, complimenting practically everything. The addition of ground almonds or hazelnuts gives the sauce a robust heartiness. Try it served with roasted cauliflower or roasted potatoes, or with a simple whole roasted chicken, lamb chops, meatballs, seafood or fish. It's a nice addition to what you are already cooking at home and can transform the ordinary into something really exciting. Use it as a flavor booster, like you would pesto- stir it into soups or stew, slather it in a paninni, toss with pasta and sprinkle with shaved manchego, or simply serve it in a bowl alongside crusty bread.  It's a good recipe to learn and keep in your repertoire - and the ingredients are ones I usually have on hand, making it easy to whip up. This romesco sauce recipe is also vegan and gluten free.

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In Spain, Romesco sauce is traditionally served in bowls as a condiment, stirred into seafood stews, spooned over fish or served with lamb. The traditional recipe also contains bread or bread crumbs for added texture ( which I left out this time) and Nora peppers which are difficult to find here in our area, so I substitute dried Casabel peppers. Any mild red chile would do.

A few days ago I made a batch of romesco sauce and served it along side Sweet Potato Cakes. Then the following day, we had it with Oven Baked Ricotta Meatballs. Recipes for the both Sweet Potato Cakes (vegan and gluten free) and the Oven Baked Ricotta Meatballs are also included below.



I like this recipe because the oven does most of the work. Here, I placed the bell peppers, tomatoes, onion, and garlic on a parchment covered sheet pan, all drizzled with a little oil. On the same tray I am roasting the sweet potatoes for the sweet potato cakes. It all goes in the oven for 30-40 minutes, and I can set the timer, walk away and do other things.




The meatball recipe is also one where you can, roll out the meatballs, place on a baking sheet and brown in the oven.


Everything comes out nicely roasted. For the Romesco sauce, I don't bother peeling the peppers. I like the little bits of char- it adds nice flavor.



When it comes to the nuts... you can get fussy and blanch the almonds removing their skins like I did here. But this is not necessary. More simply just roast them along with everything else, for a few minutes- leaving their skin on. Or, an even easier option, use Marcona almonds, or roasted almonds, or even smoked almonds. Remember that if you use salted nuts, you will need to use less salt in the recipe.
Once everything is roasted, it all gets pulsed in a food processor. 

To make the Sweet Potato Cakes, pulse the roasted sweet potatoes with garlic, onion, herbs and form small patties, dredging in flour or rice flour. Give a quick sear in a skillet, and place in a warm oven until ready to serve. You could substitute pretty much any starchy vegetable for the sweet potatoes, like parsnips, yams, sun chokes, or winter quash. 




 




An easy flavorful vegan and gluten free meal comes together quickly. 



Or for heartier appetites, whip up some baked ricotta meat balls.....









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Romesco Sauce Recipe
A robust and flavorful Spanish Condiment perfect for roasted vegetables or meats. Details-Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 Cups

Ingredients:
Romesco Sauce Recipe: ( makes 2 cups)
2 medium red bell peppers, halved and cored, ( or buy roasted peppers)
2 plum tomatoes- halved
1/2 onion, big sliced
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 -2 T Olive oil
1-2 dried casabel chili peppers(optional) re-hydrated (pour boiling water over and let soak 30 min or overnight.)
1/2 cup blanched almonds (or use half hazelnuts) or smoked almonds or roasted almonds.
2 T tahini paste
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or less if using salted almonds
fresh cracked pepper

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425 F. Place the first four ingredients on a parchment lined sheet pan, tomatoes and peppers with skin side up. Drizzle all with olive oil and roast in the oven turning everything over at 20 minutes. Remove garlic when tender about 30 minutes. Continue roasting peppers, tomatoes and onions until lightly blackened, about 40-50 minutes total.

Place blanched or roasted nuts into a food processor. Pulse them until they are the texture of course sand. Add the roasted vegetables ( I generally do not peel them) and the rest of the ingredients. Pulse until well combined, but don't make it too smooth. Pour into a meduim bowl.

Baked Ricotta Meatballs Ingredients:

1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb Italian sausage ( or try spicy italian sausage)
1 cup drained ricotta cheese
1/2 C sweet onion, finely diced

2 tsp toasted fennel seed ( optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg beaten
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs ( blend of rosemary, sage, parsley, thyme)
Instructions:
Pre heat oven to 400 F. Mix all the ingredients together in a a medium bowl, don't overwork. Lightly grease a parchment lined sheet pan. Form one inch balls and place on the sheet pan. Bake until cooked through and golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Shake pan, broil for a few minutes. Can be frozen and reheated.

Sweet Potato Cake Ingredients:
2 medium sweet potatoes- cut into 1/2 inch cubes, unpeeled
1 -2 T olive oil

kosher salt to taste
cracked pepper
4 cloves garlic, roasted
1/2 onion, big sliced roasted
1/4 C Italian parsley

Instructions: 
Preheat oven to 425F. Place sweet potatoes, onion, garlic on a parchment lined sheet pan. Drizzle with a little olive oil and a generous 3 finger pinch of kosher salt, and cracked pepper. Roast 20 and stir. Continue roasting another 10-15 minutes, until everything is tender. Remove and place in a food processor along with the rest of the ingredients. I added another pinch of salt. Pulse until It becomes the consistency of mashed potatoes. It does not need to be smooth- little chunks are OK. Form into small patties, dredging with flour or rice flour. In a heavy bottom skillet, on medium heat with a little live oil, give a quick sear until golden and crispy. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

2 comments:

  1. Wow that looks delicious.....Really need to give this a try...

    Simon

    ReplyDelete
  2. looks delish! beautiful photographs!

    ReplyDelete