It all started when Amy brought some of the stuff with her one weekend. She was probably thinking it would last the three days, but it didn’t help that I kept sneaking hits when no one was looking. Unwilling, and unable to stop, I just kept going, hoping no one would notice and not having the willpower to do anything about it even if someone did. The look of it, the smell of it, the taste of it, the rush as it went down my throat … The narcotic? Romesco spread. If you’ve ever had it – you get it.
It’s basically an almond and roasted red pepper-based sauce/spread/dip, but other nuts can be used (pine nuts, hazelnuts). And if you’re allergic to nuts (MC), forget the nuts – it’ll still be outstanding. But the almonds make it super “meaty” so if you’re going veg, this is a perfect alternative to say a bolognese sauce on pasta. It’s originally from Catalan, Spain and is often served alongside seafood, but there is almost nothing (in the savory department) that it doesn’t go with. Think of serving it as you would hummus. It’s also great as a sandwich spread, on pieces of cucumber, as a companion to a meat dish or alongside eggs. And anywhere pesto can go, it can go too.
Once it’s made and in my fridge, it rarely lasts longer than two days, so I can’t give you any indication of how long its real “shelf life” is, since on my shelf it’s life is very short.
It is pretty quick to make, with the only time consuming part being the roasting of the peppers. But I just tossed them onto a broiling rack, broiled them then turned the oven to bake, sent a few emails and they were ready for peeling.
The addition of sweet paprika is traditional but you could also substitute harissa spice mix or even chipotle – though you’re then leaving Spain and going to Morocco and Mexico.
Get the recipe for Romesco sauce/dip, here. (I cobbled it together from a couple recipes I’d seen, but I have to give Amy the lion’s share of the credit/blame for unleashing my addiction.)
Ever had it? Variations on the theme that you’ve tried? Foods you eat it with?
The very best Bolognese sauce (If you’re looking for a little meat with your pasta)
Eggplant Sicilian Style (Another great veggie dish)
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