Let me introduce you to your newest obsession: Spicy Romesco.
The first time I ever had Romesco was at a trendy seafood restaurant in Houston served as an appetizer with spicy calamari. I was hooked! After that, every time I went out to eat I would ask the server if they served Romesco, as if it was some sort of common off the menu item that had to be specially requested if you knew the secret password. 100% of the time they didn’t serve it. Romesco can be hard to find outside of Spanish restaurants or Tapas bars. That was the moment I realized that if I wanted to enjoy this awesome condiment whenever I wanted, I had better learn to make it!
One day at Barnes and Noble I hit the jackpot. I went home with “The Family Meal”, a cookbook by Ferran Adria, the famous chef of el Bulli. His recipe is a very traditional version of Romesco and the foundation for my Spicy Romesco recipe that you will find below.
Roasted Bell Peppers, Garlic, Tomatoes + Onion
I make mine by roasting bell peppers, a couple of vine tomatoes, onion and garlic. It is then pureed with toasted marcona almonds, parsley, smokey paprika and sherry vinegar.
Because I want to make this a paleo version and Whole 30 approved, I skip the bread. It is usually incorporated to thicken the sauce but I prefer to just use more ground almonds. I also like to add some heat with Cayenne Pepper and Red Pepper Flakes.
When it comes to paprika, the generic spice bottle at the grocery store just doesn’t cut it. You really want that deep smokey flavor, so look for a label that says it is Hungarian or Spanish pimenton.
I roast the peppers, tomatoes, onion and garlic in the oven at 400. When the garlic, peppers and tomatoes are cool enough to handle, carefully peel the skin off and scrape the seeds from peppers. Toss the peppers, onion, tomatoes and 1/2 the head of roasted garlic into a blender or food processor along with the remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth.
This Romesco won’t last long in the fridge because it will be eaten by your hungry family members. It’s always a good idea to make a double batch and freeze half of it for a later date.
- 2 Red Bell Peppers
- 3 Vine Tomatoes, quartered
- ¼ Large Onion, cut into a wedge
- Head of Garlic
- ¼ C. Packed Parsley
- ½ C. Marcona Almonds
- 1 t. Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 t. Paprika
- ½ t. Cayenne Powder
- 3 T. Sherry Vinegar
- 5 T. Olive Oil
- Preheat the oven to 400. Rub a little bit of oil on the outside of the red bell peppers, tomatoes, onion and garlic. Season well with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Wrap the garlic in the foil and place directly in the oven to roast. Roast the Tomatoes and Onion on a sheet pan until tender and fragrant, about 20 + minutes. Place the Red Peppers directly on the rack and roast, using tongs to turn periodically until blackened all the way around.
- Once everything is roasted and tender, remove from oven and allow to cool to the touch. Peel back the skin from the tomatoes, garlic, and pepper. Scrape the seeds bell pepper. Toss the cloves from ½ the head of garlic, the onion wedge, peeled bell peppers and tomatoes into a food processor. Save the remaining ½ head of garlic for a later use.
- Combine the remaining ingredients to the food processor and pulse until smooth.