Romesco is a Spanish sauce traditionally eaten with fish dishes, though it complements many other main courses. Like many sauces, there is no definitive recipe, each Spanish household no doubt makes their own version. The sauce can be raw or cooked. The ingredients can be roasted or grilled. Some recipes call for hazelnuts. A slice or two of bread is often added to thicken the sauce. Red bell peppers are sometimes included. You get the picture. I like this recipe because it’s easy, yet still flavorful. If you like roast, broil or grill the tomatoes. And yes, this is excellent on toast.
1/4 c almonds, blanched or unblanched; or hazelnuts
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 small dried chile, seeded, if you like; or 1/4 t ground cayenne, or to taste
1 – 2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
salt, to taste
2 T sherry, balsamic, or red wine vinegar
bread, if you like
1. Toast the almonds in a small skillet until aromatic, about 5 minutes, or toast in a 325°F oven for about 10 minutes.
2. Combine the tomato, chile, and garlic in a blender or food processor and purée. Add nuts. While machine is running, add oil in a steady stream. Add some salt and the vinegar. Whizz to combine. Taste for seasonings–more chile, garlic, or vinegar will make a stronger sauce. If the sauce is too thin for you liking, add pieces of bread to the machine and pulse until the sauce has achieve a consistency you like.