45 million Spaniards can't be wrong! There is a reason why this is the national sauce of Spain - it's incredibly versatile and delicious! Use it as a sauce, dip, spread and as pesto - or even as a marinade! Romesco sauce is smoky and creamy, but so much healthier than normal dips. It's like pesto - with a fraction of the calories!
Preheat barbecue grill OR gas stove on high and chargrill capsicum using until black and blistered all over. (Note 4)
Place in a bowl and cover for at least 20 minutes. The capsicum will cool down and sweat, allowing the skin to slide off easily. Peel and discard the skin, and the seeds, place in blender.
Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Place tomato and garlic on foil, drizzle with 2 tsp oil, and wrap.
Place foil packet on a tray, add bread and almonds onto the tray. Bake for 5 minutes until bread is golden, remove almonds and bread. Tear bread into pieces, place in blender with almonds.
Bake garlic and tomato for a further 25 minutes or until tomato is tender. Open foil, allow to cool until you can handle it. Peel tomato, add to blender. Squeeze garlic from skins, place in blender.
Add remaining ingredients, whizz until smooth. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Store in the fridge for up to 1 week. Refer to Notes for ideas for how to use!
1. You can use 1 1/2 cups tightly packed store bought chargrilled bell peppers/capsicum (drained). The smokiness isn't as intense, but the flavour is still very similar.Omit the red wine vinegar from the recipe and just add according to taste at the end (because capsicum in jars is a bit more sour than fresh capsicum).2. This is best made with ordinary white sandwich bread because it blends up easily into the sauce. But you can use fancy bread if you wish.3. You can use roasted almonds instead, just toast them in the oven for a few minutes less.4. The char is how you get the smoky flavour in this sauce! I just plonk the capsicum on the grill or on the actual flames on a gas stove, leave it for a few minutes until it turns black, turn with tongs and repeat until black all over.To do it in the oven, crank the oven up as high as it will go and put the capsicum directly on the rack (whole). Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until it's nicely charred. The flavour is not quite as smoky as using a BBQ or gas stove.5. Ways to use Romesco Sauce - traditionally used by Spanish fishermen as a sauce for cooked seafood, Romesco Sauce is a fabulous way to jazz up even the plainest of cooked foods! Simply BBQ/cook meat, vegetables or seafoods and serve with (plenty of!) Romesco Sauce. Here are other suggestions for using Romesco Sauce: - Dip for chips, veggie sticks, crackers and fries - Spread - on crostini, sandwiches, burgers (oh my, so good!) - As a pesto - Stirred into sauces to add flavour and richness - Stirred into soups and stews - As a marinade or crust for roasted meats