Romesco is a versatile sauce using roasted vegetables, nuts, and bread. It can be used on lamb, chicken, seafood or beef. Romesco sauce is popular for vegetable trays and good as a spread or dip!
You will love this Romesco Sauce recipe, it’s perfect! This is a hearty, thick and smoky tomato-based sauce that uses nuts and bread for flavor and texture.
I love a good sauce. A sauce can lift a protein or a dish up and give great and big flavor in a little package. Romesco is just one of those sauces – bold, bright, and tasty to boot!
So what is romesco exactly? It is a sauce originating from Spain. Catalonia to be exact. The fisherman in this area would serve fish with this sauce. In the northern part of the country, they use it as a dip for spring onions.
When it came to the States, it morphed into a whole new use and became a customary sauce for lamb chops at Easter. No matter what you are putting it on, it is absolutely scrumptious.
It is a typically a tomato-based sauce that incorporates garlic and sometimes bread and chiles. The heat factor can vary from mild to HOT depending on the type of chile used, the quantity of chile used, and of course, the person making the sauce.
The unique texture and rich thickness is the result of a combination of two ingredients. The ground nuts (usually pine nuts or almonds) and stale bread or occasionally, simply flour to thicken.
The beauty of romesco is its versatility. This batch was made to accompany Lamb Chops, however, the leftovers were used to top everything from salads to grilled chicken breasts to a cast-iron seared steak.
The possibilities for its use are endless, even using it as a dip or spread. It can be made several days ahead of time and stored in an airtight container until you are ready to use it.
This romesco recipe is adapted from the famed Chef Jose Andres, one of my favorite chefs and now also, friend. His original recipes calls for a painstaking slow roast of the vegetables and chiles.
While I would love to follow that technique, I sadly do not have that kind of time. I modified it for home use and swapped some things out so it would be easier to find them at the grocery store.
I substituted ground ancho chili powder for fresh or dehydrated ancho chile. This is easily found in the spice aisle.
You can use whatever type of bread you desire, however I found that plain white or wheat tends to work best. They have enough heft and give great texture.
I increased the garlic… because I love garlic. And lastly, I used sherry and white vinegar instead of sherry vinegar to maximize flavor.
If you enjoyed this romesco recipe, make sure you check out some of these other easy sauce recipes:
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- 1/2 tablespoon cup plus 1light extra virgin olive oil
- 6 plum tomatoes
- 2 heads of garlic
- 1 onion
- 1/2 cup roasted red pepper chopped
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 3 tablespoons ancho chili powder
- 2 slices bread crusts removed, cut into 1 inch squares
- 1 tablespoon cooking sherry
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Cooking Spray
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Peel and quarter onion, place on baking sheet. Cut off stems of tomatoes, quarter and gently press out seeds with your fingers. Place tomatoes on baking sheet. Separate individual garlic cloves, peeled with stems removed and place on the baking sheet.
- Drizzle 1/2 cup light extra virgin olive oil over tomato, onion and garlic. Roast vegetables for 30 minutes, tossing once. Vegetables should be soft and mushy- perfect!
- Place tomato mixture into food processor, pulse until a paste forms. Combine the remaining ingredients and pulse until mixed well.
- After pureeing, transfer to a saucepan and continue to heat until piping hot.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!