Salsa Romesco

Salsa Romesco was one of the recipes we made at Cook and Taste – the cooking class I attended in Barcelona a little while back. I didn’t get to make the sauce in class, as I was cooking one of the other dishes, so I bought with me some nyores from La Boqueria to make it at home. Although it takes some time in preparation, the Salsa Romesco is real easy, and you can use it for many different, spanish inspired dishes. I really love it!

Romesco sauce
2 nyores (large, dried red peppers), soaked and seedless
2 ripe tomatoes, medium size
1/2 bulb of garlic, roasted
20 g almonds, toasted and peeled
20 g hazelnuts, toasted and peeled
Half a slice of stale bread, toasted
1 dl extra virgin olive oil
A few drops of sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper

Nyores are dried, red, sweet and mild peppers. You can also use other mild, dried chili peppers. Start by soaking the peppers in warm water. Add pressure so they stay submerged. The longer they stay under water, the easier they are to work with. Submerge for at least one hour, but maby longer if you can. To help the pulp soak make small scores in the surface to let the water in. When the peppers are ready, cut them open and scrape the pulp out using a spoon.

Rub the garlic with oil and salt. Cover with tin foil and place in an ovensafe baking trey. Do the same with the tomatoes, but leave them uncovered. Bake in the oven at 180°C for about 1 hour.

Toast the almonds and hazelnuts in a dry pan for a few minutes. Set aside. Fry the bread slice in the same dry pan until it turns brownish and properly dry.

Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature before you start blending them. Use a food processor or handblender. Remember to peel the garlic before adding to the blend. Run the mix, adding the oil little by little, until you have a smooth sauce. Add vinegar, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Serve the romesco sauce as dip for fresh or sauteed vegetables, with fish, seafood or meat dishes, or even as spread on sandwiches. The sauce also works well to thicken soups and stews.

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