Romesco sauce is often made with charred red bell peppers because of its fruity notes, which marry nutty almond paste and spice so well, but this dip can be made without the red capsicum altogether. My recipe for romesco stays true to the tradition of adding bread to the dip, but uses a combination of rehydrated mild Kashmiri chillies and fiery Bedgi chillies instead. What’s great about this recipe is that most of the ingredients are tray-baked together- tomato, chilli, garlic and bread, so it’s quite a low effort roast and blitz job really.
I personally prefer to eat my romesco sauce with really charred spring onions or leeks. You can smear some over mini toasts and put a little knot of the almost-burnt alium on top. It’s really quite incredible. Serve romesco sauce alongside roast chicken and grilled fish or bring Spain to your party table by making an appetiser of bacon-wrapped dates on sticks dipped into romesco as ready-to-eat tapas. As you can see, it goes with just about anything.
Yield 250 ml
This romesco sauce has no red bell peppers. Serve it with charred spring onions as a dip.
Garlic 2 heads of garlic
Olive Oil 125ml
Almonds 100g, blanched optional
Salt and pepper
Stale bread 2 slices
Dried Bedgi chillies 2, soaked in warm water for at least an hour
Dried Kashmiri chillies 2, soaked in warm water for at least an hour
Red wine vinegar 50ml
Begin by roasting the blanched almonds on a baking tray for 5-6 minutes till nutty and golden.
Once the nuts are done roasting, in a baking tray lined with foil place the garlic pods, tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and drizzle over about 25ml of olive oil. Close the foil package and let it roast at a high temperature between 180 and 200 degrees celsius for 10 minutes at least.
In a frying pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and fry a slice of bread on both sides till it has absorbed all the oil. Repeat with the second slice.
Blitz together the fried bread, the tomatoes with their skins, the garlic cloves slipped out of their skins, the fried bread, the refreshed chillies, almonds and a bit more salt. It should be a really red paste. Add the remaining olive oil to the blender and keep blending to make it creamier. Keep warm till you need it.