Romesco is my go-to recipe whenever I need an appetizer. Rich, nutty, and sweet, this is a seriously delicious and highly addictive dip. Though the dish originated in Catalonia, Spain, I include it with any meal with even a remotely Mediterranean influence. Versions vary but all contain almonds or hazelnuts, garlic, peppers and olive oil. This recipe is simple but gets me all kinds of complements and has become my signature dish. I use it mostly as a dip with crackers, but it can be served as a sauce for all sorts of foods—beans, potatoes, pasta, fish, meatballs, etc. Try it; you’ll be inspired.
For a rich, complex, sweet and smoky flavor, roast your own peppers. Roasted red peppers from a jar make the dish bland and unremarkable. In the fall when red peppers are at their peak, I apply an economy of scale principal, roasting and storing as many as my freezer will hold. Not only do I save money, but I also save time. With ready-to-use roasted peppers in the freezer, I can make romeso in less than 5 minutes all throughout the year.
- ½ cup whole almonds
- 1 small clove garlic
- 3 roasted red sweet bell peppers, seeds and skins removed
- 1 T red wine vinegar
- ½ t salt
- 1 t paprika
- 2 T olive oil
- Add almonds to a food processor and finely chop.
- Next add garlic, peppers, vinegar, salt, and paprika and processes to a course puree.
- With the processor running drizzle the olive oil in until it becomes a thick, and creamy paste.
- Serve at room temperature.