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Sauces and Condiments, Vegetarian

Romesco Sauce

For several months now I've had three hazelnuts sitting on my desk. They are not at all alike. One is your usual-looking round hazelnut; one is the same only a lot larger, and the most interesting is the third, which ... Read more

Total time: 35 minutes | Makes 3 cups
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 slice country-style white bread
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground red chile or hot paprika
  • 4 small plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 cup Sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Spanish

Step 1Broil the peppers 4 inches from the heat, turning to blacken all the sides, about 10 minutes. (You can also roast the peppers on top of a gas flame.) Place the peppers in a paper bag 10 to 15 minutes, then peel off the charred skins. Cut out the membranes and seeds and set the peppers aside.

Step 2Fry the bread in a little olive oil until golden and crisp. When cool, grind the nuts, bread and garlic in a food processor until they are fairly fine.

Step 3Add the ground chile, tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper to taste, paprika, bell peppers, and Sherry vinegar and process until smooth. With the machine running, gradually pour in the oil. Taste and make sure the sauce has plenty of piquancy and enough salt.

Note: Serve this thick sauce of grilled peppers, chile and roasted hazelnuts with roasted potatoes, grilled leeks and grilled fish. Or spread it on garlic-rubbed croutons and cover with sliced green olives and parsley for a little appetizer.
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