A Very Serious Addiction

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?

Related Posts

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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  • Rhondaheath

    Do you peel the pepper? Sorry probably a stupid question but I don’t go in the kitchen…. Ever.

    • Michelle Madden

      Yes!  Sorry, should have made that clear … 

  • cloverleaf

    Rhonda, click on the link to the recipe, underlined above.  Yes, the peppers are peeled.

  • Jamie

    wondering if this is like acili ezme, a mediterranean dip I had recently.

  • Erna

    I know what you mean, that stuff is totally addictive. I can’t think of anything that isn’t improved by adding a big spoonful of it. Never lasts long in my refrig. either. I’m going to try your version this week. Thanks for reminding me, haven’t thought of it for quite a while. BTW, in a pinch, jarred roasted peppers work too. 

  • Guest

    Romanesco not pictured?

    • Michelle Madden

      Uh, it’s pictured many times …. 

  • Ouryuppielife

    Oooh, definitely trying this since I can get all the ingredients here in Ethiopia.  We are big dippers in our house too.  I especially love that you can put in on anything.  

  • Belinda @zomppa

    Uh oh, I can see this would be dangerous for me!

  • http://www.facebook.com/JennLMyers Jennifer St James

    I could eat romesco sauce with a spoon, for sure. Thanks for reminding me of this amazing sauce/dip!

  • Shelly

    Oh my. You are not kidding! I just made this tonight for a light dinner with gluten free bread and cucumbers. It’s all I could do to LEAVE the remaining Romesco in the kitchen and walk over to my computer to share what a delight it is. I’m putting a lock on the fridge tonight…in case my hubbie gets any sneaky ideas!!! Thanks for the recipe.

    • http://www.thesweetbeet.com Michelle Madden

      I warned you!  :)

  • Joanne

    Really, Really Yummy…I absolutely love this recipe.  thanks, as always, for sharing!

  • http://youngeater.wordpress.com/ Austin ferrari

    Romesco sauce is my absolute favorite. I could pretty much just eat it all day, everyday!

  • Suz3Dogs

    Absolutely fabulous!