Romesco sauce, a red pepper pesto sauce from Catalonia, is a staple in Spanish cuisine, and a delicious all-purpose sauce recipe to use in a variety of dishes! This easy romesco sauce recipe freezes well, so I always make the full batch and keep extra on hand to use as needed.
Can we spend a moment reflecting about the concept of “doing it all” and how ridiculous that sounds? As a typical first-born child and creative workaholic, I constantly tell myself that I can “do it all” despite being reminded time and time again that energy resources are finite. I suppose I’m feeling a bit frustrated about it all at the moment because this year was supposed to be different. I started 2016 by stepping back from a few commitments so I could try and find a better balance after pushing myself to near breakdown exhaustion last year, and yet here I am, typing Friday morning’s post on Saturday night knowing full well that I won’t finish editing the photos and actually publish this post until Sunday. At which point I’ll be starting work for Monday’s post which I’m determined will be scheduled on time so it can be live before my e-mail newsletter goes out in the afternoon.
I love my job, I’m blessed to work from home so I can spend time with my family, life is never boring, and yet, I’m still struggling with my one resolution this year – to find a balance. Please tell me I’m not the only one?
And in the strangest transition ever (see why I’m not a journalist?), maybe one of the things that draws me to today’s recipe so much is that it kind of is a “do it all” recipe. Romesco sauce is a dip and condiment, and works well with everything from bread to scrambled eggs and even vegetables… effortlessly.
Romesco sauce is a red pepper and tomato based sauce with chilies, nuts, and lots of flavor. Its texture can be very smooth, but I prefer to make it with a slightly chunkier texture, like a pesto. It hails from the Catalonia region of Spain, and there are about a zillion different recipes as everyone makes their romesco sauce to suit their particular palate. This easy romesco sauce recipe is my favorite because it has a nice balance of flavors between the red pepper and the tomato, and just the slightest kick from the chili peppers. I cut down on prep time by using canned tomatoes and jarred roasted red peppers. It’s a good thing the recipe makes about 4 cups, because we ate at least 1 in the process of this shoot.
I kept another cup of the sauce in the fridge for a week, which we used in various dishes, and the rest I put into silicone ice cube trays, froze until solid, and then transferred to a zip top plastic bag for storage. Each cube is about 1 tbsp of sauce, so I take out only as much as I need for garnish or a recipe. It’s really convenient. I’ve tossed the cubes right into my skillet if using the sauce to season a dish, or thawed in just a few seconds in the microwave to use as a dip or topping.
Most of the ingredients are very easy to find. If the pimentos aren’t by the olives in your grocery store, check the Hispanic food section. Sometimes they move them there. I only found raw hazelnuts when I was shopping, and if you find the same, just follow my easy instructions for roasting your own hazelnuts. Make extra because they’re a really addicting snack and a great addition to salads!
I may never be able to “do it all”, but I can keep working towards finding a balance, and in the meantime, I have a sauce worthy of superwoman to make creating amazing dishes a little easier. 😉
- 7 oz roasted red peppers
- 1 14.5 oz (411) can diced tomatoes, drain half the juice
- ⅓ c olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 oz toasted hazelnuts
- 1.5 oz almonds
- 3 dried New Mexico chilies, seeded with stems removed
- 2 oz dry bread cubes
- ½ cup (113 g) pimentos
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed 8 inch skillet. Saute the New Mexico chilies 1-2 minutes until they change color, then remove with a slotted spoon and place into a large food processor.
- Add the hazelnuts, almonds, bread and garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until the bread is golden and toasted. Pour the entire contents of the skillet into your food processor.
- Add the tomatoes, pimentos, red peppers, salt, and red wine vinegar. Pulse 6-8 times until the mixture is well blended and resembles a pesto, scraping the sides of the food processor between pulses as needed.
- Refrigerate up to one week, or freeze up to four months.