For course #5, I served fried chicken and broccolini over romesco sauce. This was the fill ‘em up course, to ensure that this group of guys at the table, all of whom had gone on some sort of adventure that day, got enough to eat after the previous four lighter courses.
Romesco is a Spanish sauce made with peppers, tomatoes, and nuts. Beyond that, there is a lot of variation. Some insist that it should be made with roasted tomatoes and dried peppers, but in the states it is more common for romesco to be made with roasted bell peppers. In this recipe, tomato paste is used instead of roasted tomatoes to quickly add deep tomato flavor, and the use of jarred roasted red peppers means that this is a recipe you can whip up in just a few minutes.
While it may not be the most authentic recipe out there, it is absolutely delicious, and it is the sort of thing that you can throw together while your protein is on the grill or in the fryer. It also happens to be good on everything. This sauce is perfect with chicken, fish, or grilled vegetables, but it can also be eaten right out of the bowl with bread or tortilla chips. It really is a magnificent sauce, particularly when you realize how quickly it comes together.
1 cup roasted red peppers (with water from jar)
1 clove garlic
½ cup raw almonds, toasted
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp cayenne
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp salt
Olive oil until smooth (~½ cup)
Add all ingredients to the food processor and puree until uniform. There will still be some chunks of almond, and that is okay, it gives a nice, rustic crunch to the sauce.
Serve with fish, chicken, grilled vegetables, or just about anything, really. It’s also good in a salsa bar and great over eggs or spread on a sandwich. This is tasty, versatile stuff.