Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Romesco Sauce

One of my favorite restaurants is a tapas place here in Sacramento. They serve the most delicious vegetables and pork dishes with a delicious Romesco sauce. This is my best imitation of their tomato sauce, one with a Spanish twist. I served it first over salmon, then had it a couple of nights later with broccoli. I can attest that it's great with meats, fish, and vegetables. Also, it gets better when it sits for a couple of days in the refrigerator.

1 large tomato, cut into wedges
1/2 red pepper, cut into large strips
1 Anaheim chili, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup blanched, sliced almonds
1/2 slice bread, crusts removed and cubed
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar (or red wine)
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking pan with foil. Place the tomatoes and red pepper on the foil and cook for about 15 minutes. I used a golden heirloom tomato from muy garden for this batch. Add the almonds and bread cubes and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until the almonds start to brown. Remove the pan from the oven, immediately putting the almonds into a food processor. Add the bread cubes, spices, oil, and vinegar to the food processor. Squeeze the tomato skins from the tomatoes, then add them to the food processor. Remove the skins from the red peppers, then add them to the food processor. Pulse or process until the almonds are ground - about 1 minute total. Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.

Serves 4.

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Taste the sauce, then add a small amount of salt. Taste again, adding salt until the dish tastes perfect. Your desire for salt decreases with fresh vegetables and herbs. Also, use a good tasting extra virgin olive oil. This is a dish that will benefit from the additional fresh taste.

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