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Salsa Romesco recipe from ChefSarahElizabeth.com

I first tried salsa romesco a few years ago when someone asked me to recreate a recipe they had tried at a friend’s house. The one I tested was very mild and honestly not very exciting. Based on the name I thought it was an Italian sauce like a red pesto or something. After testing and recreating the recipe for them, I sort of pushed it out of my mind and didn’t give it a second thought.

Fast forward to present day when I am working on a Spanish-inspired menu for an upcoming Family Dinner Book Club and I learn that Salsa Romesco actually originates in Spain and contains more exciting ingredients than the mild bell peppers I used once upon a time.

In a moment of Serendipity, Caroline’s recipe for romesco sauce popped up in my Facebook feed the day before I would be preparing my Spanish menu. After seeing her lovely photos, and reading about her time living in Spain, I decided her version is probably much more authentic than I had tried previously. So I set out to make her recipe to include in my menu. By the way, how jealous are we that Caroline got to live in SPAIN for a year?! Correct, so jealous.

Salsa Romesco recipe from ChefSarahElizabeth.com

My quick shopping trip to gather all the ingredients resulted in not being able to find the same exact items, so I improvised on a few of them. First of all, I love hazelnuts and purposely shop at locations I know I can find whole ones, so I am using whole blanched hazelnuts instead of ground.

My local grocery was out of dried ancho chilies, which is odd because that is a staple here in Southern California. However, because I love them so, I know that dried ancho chilies are actually poblano peppers that have been dried and shriveled, so I decided to use a fresh poblano since that was available to me.

I used all red wine vinegar for the acid and left out the lemon juice just because I forgot to pick a lemon that day. Definitely add a splash of lemon juice, though, because lemon juice brightens everything! It is a magic ingredient that makes sauces like this shine. So don’t make my mistake. Make sure you always have lemons on hand!

Since I was serving this with a larger menu, I used the sauce as a dip for bread and vegetables. It’s more common purpose is to serve over grilled fish, which I think sounds amazing, and I will be trying that with my next batch.

This sauce ended up being so full of flavor and much more exciting than my first experience with salsa romesco. I served this at family dinner and everybody else loved it, too. It has some spice, but not too much, and it has a fresh and summer taste from the tomatoes and of course the kick from the raw garlic. I think I’ll try swirling this into pasta, too!

Salsa Romesco
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Ingredients

  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 70 grams (1/2 cup) blanched hazelnuts
  • 70 grams (1/2 cup) blanched almonds
  • 40 grams (1 cup) bread cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 large (300 grams) ripe tomato
  • 2 jarred piquillo peppers
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) red wine vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Roast the poblano pepper over an open flame to blacken all the skin. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to steam for 5 minutes. Peel off the blackened skin and remove the stem and seeds.
  2. Place the hazelnuts and almonds in a dry saucepan over medium heat. Shake or stir constantly until the nuts are starting to brown and become very aromatic, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the food processor.
  3. Add a bit of olive oil to the saucepan over medium heat, add the breadcrumbs, and toast until golden brown, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the food processor.
  4. Pulse the nuts and bread cubes in the food processor until finely chopped.
  5. Add the peeled and seeded poblano pepper, garlic, tomato, piquillo peppers, paprika, salt, and vinegar.
  6. Pulse to combine all the ingredients.
  7. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the romesco mixture until it reaches a sauce consistency. Depending on how thick you like the sauce, you will use about 3-6 tablespoons of oil.
http://chefsarahelizabeth.com/2016/07/12/salsa-romesco-recipe/

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1 Comment on Salsa Romesco

  1. Caroline / Caroline's Cooking
    July 13, 2016 at 12:30 am (9 months ago)

    I’m glad you liked my recipe and have found options to adapt it slightly to what you could find. Romesco is certainly a truly delicious sauce when it’s made right!

    Reply

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