Romesco Sauce

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I really love dips. My cousin gets a real kick out of how many hummus tubs, hot sauces, and oils I have sitting in front of me while I eat. Jalapeno hummus, the green hummus from Tender Greens, baba ganoush, Gourmet¬†Lip’s habanero hot sauce, the chipotle hot sauce from Trader Joe’s, and truffle-infused olive oil are regulars in rotation for nearly every meal. My argument is that there are so many flavors in the world, why limit yourself to just one or two at each sit-down? I also am a firm believer in the idea that, if your lips are not doubled in size and sweat is not rolling down your forehead while you’re eating, you have done yourself an injustice.

This Northeastern Spanish Sauce has been swirling around my mind as of late. Before trying out a recipe, I usually become infatuated with the idea of it. I romanticize it and talk about it endlessly. For this particular sauce, I imagined dressing a bowl of shaved carrots, kale, and toasted chickpeas with it. As is so beautiful in cooking though, upon making it and tasting it, I realized that the sauce would have to be used on something else. The raw kale and thinly-sliced carrots did not seem hearty enough to support its bold flavors.

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I did, however, find it to be perfect on a plate of grilled avocados. The spicy, earthy sauce dressed the light, fatty fruit perfectly. With some Spanish olive oil, an extra dose of almonds, and a light dusting of cayenne pepper, I am so pleased with how this recipe turned out. It also sits quite beautifully on my dinner table next to all of the other sauces that I hold so dear.

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Adapted from this Bon Apetit recipe

  • 1-2 large roasted red peppers from a jar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 c toasted almonds
  • 1/4 c tomato puree (not tomato paste!)
  • 3 tbsp fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 c olive oil

In a high speed blender or food processor combine all ingredients except the olive oil, blend until incorporated but not entirely smooth. Slowly add the olive oil while the processor is still running. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.