Friday, April 20, 2012

Accompaniments: Romanesco Sauce

You think this sauce is all about the peppers.  Try it again.  Roasted peppers, yes, but there is more going on here.  This sauce has more substance than that one ingredient can offer.  Actually, it is a nut based sauce, like pesto and, having tried it again, my less naive palate now gets that the nuts are as important to this sauce as the smoky ancho chili.  I served this with a simple steamed white flaky fish but that didn't keep us from dipping our crusts of bread right into the bowl.  Spanish in origin, I have often seen recipes that pair it with fish.  But why set up limitations?  Simple sauteed chicken or vegetables for dinner?  Pair it with romanesco sauce and huzzah! It's like a holiday!

Romanesco Sauce
  • 1/2 a cup of tamari almonds (you can use regular almonds but tamari almonds are already seasoned with a little soy)
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 small sweet peppers or one red bell pepper
  • 1 dried ancho chili
  •  2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • sea salt 
  • 1/3 of a cup of good olive oil
  • one glass of lukewarm water
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Core your tomatoes and peppers but keep them whole. Cut the top off the garlic head and discards any skin that is loose and falling off.  Place peppers and garlic in ceramic bake ware (like Corning ware).  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.  Roast for about 45 minutes covered.

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat.  Add almonds and toss for thirty seconds or until they become fragrant.  Remove almonds and add ancho chili.  Heat thirty seconds on each side.  It should also become fragrant.  Remove and soak in a glass of lukewarm water until it softens.

When roasted peppers and garlic are done, let cool.  When cool enough to touch, gingerly squeeze the garlic cloves out of the head.  Add all ingredients to your food processor and pulse.  If you don't have a food processor, you can use a large mortar and pestle to pound the ingredients into a paste. 

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know you were back my friend. So good to see you shopping and cooking again!

    Anything with ancho chilli may taste terrific...we would say here wow such a different "continental" dish!