This toasted almond and roasted red pepper sauce may look like the Harissa Sauce posted earlier this spring, but the similarities end with the color and roasted red peppers. This Spanish sauce is deeply flavorful, bright and punchy (in an acidic kind of way), and absolutely delicious. It comes together quickly in the food processor and now is the perfect time of year to give this a whirl while both tomatoes and peppers are at their peak.
I served this with sear-roasted salmon fillets, as pictured below, with some roasted fingerling potatoes. Any simply prepared meat or fish will do great. You can expect the sauce to be the star of the dish!
As with many regional dishes, each cook with have their own interpretation. I’ve seen romesco recipes using only red peppers, no tomatoes, some using both, some using only tomatoes. I’ve seen various nuts used, sometimes hazelnuts or macadamia nuts. Basically you can make this sauce your own just based on what you like and what you’ve got in your pantry! I loved this version using both peak-season tomatoes and red peppers. I found the sauce perfectly balanced in acidity and heat, from a pinch of red pepper flakes and sweet paprika. (The paprika I threw in mostly because I was recently gifted a huge box of authentic Hungarian paprika from Budapest and really wanted to use some!) But however you interpret the sauce, you’ll be happy you tried it.
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1 medium plum tomato, seeded and chopped
- 1 shallot, minced, sauteed in olive oil until softened but not browned, 5 minutes.
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
- 1 Tbs white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- pinch red pepper flakes
- pinch sweet paprika (optional)
- 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
- kosher salt to taste
1. Over a gas flame or underneath a broiler set to high, char and blacken the pepper all over, about 15-20 minutes. Remove pepper to a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let steam 10 minutes. Remove plastic. When pepper is cool enough to handle, peel skin and remove seeds. Slice into strips and put in food processor.(Alternatively use jarred roasted red peppers).
2. To food processor add toasted almonds, tomato, sauteed shallot, garlic, white wine vinegar, olive oil, red pepper flakes and paprika. Pulse to coarsely puree. Taste and add salt if needed. Pulse to combine salt. Remove to a bowl and stir in Parmigiano.
Serve with grilled chicken, steak or fish. Serves 2.