New Recipes

Aliza Green, Philadelphia-based chef and culinary tour leader, presents new recipes to try.

 

Hazelnut Romesco Sauce

Romesco is a characteristic sauce or dip of Catalonia, the area of Spain surrounding Barcelona with its own distinct culture and cuisine. This deep red mixture of roasted peppers, hazelnuts and/or almonds, fried bread, garlic, Spanish paprika and wine vinegar is traditionally served with fish. I like to serve it as a dip for vegetables, to spread on garlic toasts, or drizzled on Riviera-Style Chickpea Fries (Panisses). Vegan.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Catalan
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large whole roasted red peppers purchased or homemade, peeled and seeded
  • 6 large cloves garlic
  • ½ cup + ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup French or Italian bread cubes
  • ¼ pound whole hazelnuts toasted and skins rubbed off
  • teaspoons Pimentón dulce + ½ teaspoons cayenne or 1½ teaspoons hot paprika
  • ¼ cup Spanish sherry vinegar
  • Fine sea salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Purée the peppers and their juice in the bowl of a food processor. Without washing the bowl, transfer the purée to a small pot and then cook slowly until it’s thick enough to hold its shape, about 10 minutes.
  • Combine the garlic cloves and ½ cup of the olive oil in a small pot and cook together until the garlic is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the cubed bread and cook 2 minutes longer or until lightly browned. Cool.
  • Place the pepper paste, hazelnuts, and the garlic and bread cubes and their cooking oil back into the food processor. Process to a chunky paste, then add the Pimentón (or other hot paprika), sherry vinegar, and salt. Process again, then drizzle in the remaining olive oil to make a thick sauce with a consistency like mayonnaise. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

About Romesco
Patience Gray tells us about the making of Romesco in her classic memoir/cookbook about her life in five rural areas of the Mediterranean, Honey from a Weed. “The variations of this sauce are legion, secrecy surrounds the method and there is no common agreement among fishermen or cooks about its creation. The annual ‘romescada’ near Tarragon is a challenge to fisherman to produce the best romesco.” During this festival, which takes place in April, master romesco makers crouch over their mortars at little stands, surrounded by as many as four thousand onlookers, each showing off his or her own “best” version.
Keyword Catalan, Make-Ahead, roasted pepper, sauce, Vegan

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