Romesco sauce with grilled spring onions

Romesco sauce with grilled spring onions

By
From
A Lot on Her Plate
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

This sweet, smoky, nutty Catalan sauce is often an accompaniment to grilled fish and seafood or calçot onions in Spain, but it’s also a favourite of mine for snacking when I have friends round, and it’s especially good to have at a barbecue, its sweetness pairing well with charred ingredients. I tend to buy a big jar of grilled red peppers from my local Turkish store and keep them in the fridge just for this, as I find they work just as well as grilling the peppers yourself, and they have an added acidity from their preserving juice. The sauce keeps well for up to 2–3 days in the fridge, so it’s a good one to make ahead. Try and use the best olive oil you can find for this, to really make it sing.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
50g roasted hazelnuts
50g blanched almonds, washed
2 garlic cloves, peeled
400g skinned roasted red peppers from a jar
1 teaspoon good-quality tomato puree
1 slice slightly stale sourdough bread
80ml good-quality extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for griddling
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
2-4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
bunch fresh spring onions, papery outer layer removed

Method

  1. Put the nuts in the bowl of the food processor with the garlic, and blitz until you have coarse crumbs. Add the red peppers, and blitz again to a coarse paste, then add the tomato purée, sourdough and a glug of the oil to loosen the mixture, and blitz once more until you have a smoother paste. Pour the sauce into a mixing bowl and season with the salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika. Pour in the rest of the olive oil, stirring vigorously to incorporate it. Add the vinegar 1 teaspoon at a time, until the sauce has the right acidity – it should make you salivate!
  2. For the spring onions, simply brush them with a little olive oil, season them with salt, and griddle or barbecue them over a high heat, turning them occasionally, until they are softening at the core and have black char marks all over them. Dip them into the sauce and enjoy.
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