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Quick Romesco sauce

May 26, 2016

Each month for at least ten years, House and Gardens magazine has winged its way across oceans to our PO Box courtesy of KP (an annual subscription for Christmas). I find it comforting to look at the immaculate interiors, most of them British; maybe it’s something to do with being an expat for so long and living in a rented home. Inevitably I turn to the food and drink section first. The collections of recipes are well-written, beautifully photographed and don’t succumb to the quick and easy style (often using pre-made components) that other cookery mags have started to feature so often. It’s not complicated cooking but it’s the kind I like to do, from scratch.

House guest was back for a couple of days after being in Saudi for a week. KP was on a rugby/golf trip in UK and veggie teen out with a friend, so supper for two was in order.Β  A cold Chablis was opened and I roasted a mixture of onions from the farmers’ market until soft and slightly caramelised, then griddled some lamb cutlets until the fat was crisp and the meat pink. The sweetest, ripest cherry tomatoes and fragrant peppers (from IGR at the market) went into a homemade Romesco.

My haul from the farmers market -

My haul from the farmers market

Pesto and muhamarra were guesses on Instagram when I asked people if they knew what I’d made. Romesco is kind of similar but from Catalonia in Spain where a regional type of hot pepper is used as a spice and the sauce is usually served with fish and a type of large spring onion, grilled over charcoal. The traditional version involves a lot of pounding in a pestle and mortar and roasting of ingredients. The name itself may have come from the word “rumiskal” meaning to mix, from the Moorish era in Spain, so this could have some Arabic influences, although it would differ in taste now as tomatoes and chillies didn’t arrive in Spain until the 16th century.

So having roundly condemned speedy versions of things, here’s my riff on the H&G quick Romesco sauce recipe (original by Louisa Carter).

Quick Romesco sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 60g almonds (sliced are fine)
  • 30g hazelnuts
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 6 cloves of pink garlic
  • 300g ripe cherry tomatoes
  • 65ml extra virgin olive oil
  • A hunk (about 50g) of robust bread (I used Baker & Spice sourdough ciabatta)
  • 2 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika
  • red wine vinegar
  • sea salt


  1. Heat the oven to 220C (or 200C for a fan oven). Spread the nuts on a baking tray and roast for about 2 minutes. Watch them like a hawk as they can burn easily. Remove when the nuts are lightly golden brown and put them onto a plate to cool.
  2. Core and deseed the pepper and cut into large cubes (about 4cm in size), peel the garlic. Put the tomatoes, chopped pepper and garlic onto the baking tray and pour over the olive oil. Give it a good stir to mix, sprinkle with sea salt and roast for about 10 mins until the garlic is soft. Remove the cloves and roast for another 5 minutes. Tear the bread into small pieces and add to the tray along with the paprika. Roast for a final 5 minutes.
  3. Scrape the contents of the baking tray into a food processor (or a large bowl and use a stick blender). Add the roasted garlic and nuts, a dash of red wine vinegar and about 1 tablespoon of boiling water then blitz. You want a loose consistency with a bit of texture from the nuts remaining. Add more boiling water and blitz again if necessary. Season to taste with additional red wine vinegar and salt if required.

Note: While you are roasting the pepper mixture on one tray, you can put in another tray of spring onions in olive oil to dip into the Romesco afterwards.

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Guess what I made? #mcpfood

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Sending this to Katie on Feeding Boys for Simple and in Season – pop over for more recipe inspiration.

What’s your favourite mag for food and recipes?

  1. May 27, 2016 8:23 am

    yum! I’ve made a few versions of that, usually without the bread so I can feed coeliac friends who oven pop in.

  2. May 27, 2016 9:14 am

    I’ve never heard of this sauce before but it sounds so good! This is now a must try! And these ingredients are right up my alley!

  3. The Purple Ladle permalink
    May 27, 2016 9:27 am

    Love the use of nuts in the sauce! sounds wonderful and lovely pics too.

  4. May 27, 2016 10:14 am

    Sounds delicious!!! I didnt know Romesco sauce had nuts in it!

  5. May 27, 2016 10:49 am

    Romesco sauce has been on my list of things to make for a long, long time. Reading your post has motivated me to get it made soon.

  6. Brian Jones permalink
    May 27, 2016 11:40 am

    What a fabulous haul from the farmers market, our homegrown produce is a little behind that stage at the moment but getting there, as for the sauce… Do you do deliveries πŸ˜€

    • May 27, 2016 6:05 pm

      That first veg of the season – you can’t beat it can you? The thrill of tasting sweet, fresh seasonal produce versus all year round mediocre availability. I know which I’d rather have.

  7. May 27, 2016 12:25 pm

    Beautiful vegetables! I love going to the farmers market.

    Your Romesco sauce must tastes wonderful.



    • May 27, 2016 6:04 pm

      It’s easy with beautiful veg like this. Thanks as always for your time to comment Rosa Jeanne. So very much appreciated.

  8. May 27, 2016 2:55 pm

    It looks delicous!! I don’t think I ever tried romanesco but I’m loving look of your sauce πŸ™‚

    • May 27, 2016 6:03 pm

      Thanks Margot – it resembles other sauces but with a character and flavour of its own. Worth a try.

  9. May 27, 2016 4:14 pm

    This sounds AMAZING!!!!! What a stunning array of veggies from the market and what a wonderful sauce to make from them… I love food like this and will totally be giving this a try at home. Thanks so much for hooking up with Simple and in Season this month πŸ™‚ xxx

    • May 27, 2016 6:02 pm

      Off to a farm tomorrow to get some of the last veg of the season. It’s always inspiring Katie. Thanks for hosting Simple and in Season – sums up how I like to cook and eat.

  10. May 27, 2016 5:05 pm

    Love the ingredients in this sauce, bet it tastes amazing, lovely clean flavours cooked simply:-)

    • May 27, 2016 6:01 pm

      My kind of food – I don’t mind spending time with good ingredients but over-complication for the sake of it is the pits. Cheers C

  11. andreamynard permalink
    May 28, 2016 1:05 am

    I love the idea of Romesco sauce with lamb. Your pic of veggie haul is beautiful too!

  12. May 28, 2016 9:32 pm

    Firstly, your photography is amazing. Secondly i love this recipe!

  13. May 28, 2016 11:56 pm

    I love everything lamb. this looks so good. wish I had some now. πŸ™‚

  14. May 31, 2016 6:02 pm

    I don’t think I have ever contemplated making my own romsesco sauce but now you have me wondering why not! Love the robust flavours and the pretty colour – definitely going on the to do list!

  15. June 20, 2016 10:25 am

    The calls for some dunking action with lots of olive oil. Yum!!

  16. danishlass permalink
    June 21, 2016 1:50 am

    What a gorgeously simple sauce. I like this very much indeed. πŸ™‚

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