There are four compound condiments everyone should know how to make. This is one of them. Romesco can be applied to bread, like a bruschetta, or roasted vegetables, such as red potatoes and asparagus. Toss it with cooked shrimp or slather it on a grilled skirt steak. It freezes well, apparently. So make a bunch and keep it for days this summer when you don’t want to cook. Bring it to parties and serve as a dip. Use in place of horseradish on roast beef. It can be thinned and blended with pasta. The possibilities are, I wouldn’t say endless, but you know, myriad. It’s tasty business.
- 2 red bell peppers
- 3 dried Ancho chiles
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 1 1-inch thick slice crusty bread, crust cut off
- 1 15 oz can peeled plum tomatoes with juices
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
Step 1: Cover the dried Anchos with boiling water for an hour to reconstitute. Drain them, then remove stems and seeds and roughly chop.
Step 2: Roast the red bell peppers on a baking sheet in a 500 degree oven for thirty minutes, until blackened. Seal them in a Ziploc bag for twenty minutes, then peel the skins. Remove the stems and seeds and roughly chop.
Step 3 : Cover almonds with boiling water for one minute. Drain, rinse, and pat dry. Peel off the skins with your fingers.
Step 4: In a saute pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, bread, and almonds to the pan. Shake the pan, or stir frequently until the garlic becomes fragrant and everything is toasty, about five minutes.
Step 5: In a food processor, whiz up the red bell and Ancho peppers, tomatoes, paprika, vinegar, and the sauteed garlic, bread, and almonds. Season to taste with salt and cayenne, if using.
The other, sort-of-similar sauces you must know how to make, in my opinion, are these: