Romesco Sauce

By Ann Fulton

A Spanish sauce that's traditionally served with fish, this gorgeous romesco enhances anything it touches and keeps in the fridge for up to two weeks. 
Jump to Recipe

A Spanish sauce that’s traditionally served with fish, this gorgeous romesco enhances anything it touches and keeps in the fridge for up to two weeks. Try on a variety of meats, as a dip, sandwich spread and more.  

 

This gorgeous red sauce has power to elevate so many meals. With a container stashed in the fridge, turkey sandwiches will suddenly taste like they were ordered from your favorite lunch spot, and simply cooked fish, chicken, shrimp, and steak will rise to new heights. 

But there’s more. I use the thick sauce as a dip for vegetables (I recently discovered that bok choy is a stellar dipper) and as a spread on savory breakfast toast, which I then top with a fried egg, sometimes adding a layer of sliced avocado in between. One dear friend has even been known to eat this delectable sauce by the spoonful.

Pro tip: For a restaurant-worthy meal that’s truly easy to pull off, use this flavor-packed sauce to make a thick swoosh on a dinner plate, and then top with grilled or pan-seared shrimp, chicken, or this marinated steak. White fish like halibut is especially welcoming to this sauce as well. See the recipe inspiration plus a bonus recipe further down the page.

To round out the meal, serve with Roasted Potato Bites or Perfectly Baked Potatoes (or corn on the cob when in season) and Everyday Green Salad.  

A Spanish sauce that's traditionally served with fish, this romesco is a flavor game changer that enhances virtually anything, from chicken and steak to potatoes and grilled vegetables. Delicious as a dip and sandwich spread too.

How to serve the romesco sauce:

As mentioned, when serving with seafood, poultry, and beef, I like to make a thick swoosh on the plate and top with the protein. A dollop on top is fair game too. 

  • Serve with grilled chicken
  • Or fish*, steak, or shrimp
  • On roasted potatoes or mashed into Perfectly Baked Potatoes 
  • Enjoy as a sandwich spread
  • Or on meatball sandwiches instead of marinara – simply add sauce and warmed meatballs to a toasted roll, top with mozzarella, and broil to melt
  • As a sauce for basic roasted cauliflower (or serve a puddle under wedges of Whole Roasted Cauliflower
  • Grilled vegetables
  • Crispy Baked Eggplant 
  • White beans (sauté in olive oil, adding greens of choice to wilt, and then swirl some of the sauce into plated portions)
  • Enjoy as a dip for raw veggies (celery, cucumbers, carrots, etc….and I recently discovered that crisp, mild-tasting boy choy leaves are perfect scoopers!)
  • Enjoy as a dip for crackers, pretzels, and pita chips
  • Spread over a crusty roll or flatbread
  • Layer on crunchy toast and top with a fried egg

* QUICK FISH RECIPE: For a deliciously easy fish entree, pat dry 1 pound of halibut fillets and rub with a mixture of ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon each smoked paprika, black pepper, and dried oregano, and ¾ teaspoon kosher salt. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and sear fish 3-4 minutes on the first side, or until lightly golden. Flip and cook 2 to 4 minutes more or until just cooked through. Serve with the romesco sauce and optional lemon wedge.

Simple to make yourself! While it is traditional to roast red peppers, any type of pepper can be roasted, including yellow, green, or hot peppers such as jalapeños.

Roasting your own red peppers is really easy and adds depth of flavor to the sauce. That said, a 16-ounce, well drained jar of roasted red peppers makes the sauce something you can whip up lightning quick. I keep a jar in my pantry for that purpose.

A Spanish sauce that's traditionally served with fish, this gorgeous romesco enhances anything it touches and keeps in the fridge for up to two weeks. 

The ingredients are added to a food processor and blended until smooth. It’s that easy. I used almonds, but walnuts also work well. The romesco sauce tastes great right away, although the flavors will meld and improve over time.

A Spanish sauce that's traditionally served with fish, this gorgeous romesco enhances anything it touches and keeps in the fridge for up to two weeks. 

The sauce is loaded with wholesome ingredients, all of which are added at the same time except the two tablespoons of olive oil, which are drizzled in last. 

A Spanish sauce that's traditionally served with fish, this romesco is a flavor game changer that enhances virtually anything, from chicken and steak to potatoes and grilled vegetables. Delicious as a dip and sandwich spread too.

Beyond the great flavor, I adore the bold color this sauce adds to a dinner plate. A simple swoosh under a piece of white fish (see simple seared halibut recipe above) or a puddle to dip roasted potatoes adds a certain gourmet appeal. And because the sauce keeps for several weeks, you can store it in your fridge and pull out whenever you need a little something extra. Use it as a dip for veggies or sandwich spread in between! 

Keep a container of this flavor-packed sauce in your fridge and it will feel like a gift that keeps on giving. As always, I welcome your comments and a full report if you try!

Romesco Sauce
Prep Time: 10 minutes (or more if roasting your own red peppers)
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 2 cups/16 ounces
A Spanish sauce that's traditionally served with fish, this gorgeous romesco enhances anything it touches and keeps in the fridge for at least two weeks. Beyond fish, enjoy it on steak, chicken, roasted potatoes, and as a sandwich spread.
Ingredients
  • 4 red bell peppers or 1 (16-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained well
  • 3 tablespoons 46(ml) olive oil, divided use
  • ½ cup (57g) roughly chopped or slivered almonds (may substitute walnuts)
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (16g) tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika (or ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika)
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) sherry vinegar
Instructions

If roasting your own peppers: (If using jarred roasted peppers, proceed straight to making the romesco.) Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Place the red peppers on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes, then flip over with tongs.

Continue roasting for another 30 minutes, or until the peppers are collapsing into themselves with wrinkling skin. When done, remove from the oven and let the peppers cool until easy to handle. Once cooled, pull off the pepper stems along with the seeds and discard. Separate the skin from the flesh of the pepper and discard, scooping out any rogue seeds along the way. (Tip: Though it may be tempting, don’t rinse, as good flavor will wash away.)

To make the romesco: Transfer the peppers to a food processor, along with the nuts, garlic, tomato paste, salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, and sherry vinegar, and process on high speed until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. With the motor running, drizzle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until incorporated. The romesco will keep in an airtight container for at least 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

For a little extra flavor, you may toast the nuts in a 325℉ oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until fragrant and lightly golden. Alternatively, you may toast the nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan or stirring often, until the nuts are fragrant, about 4 to 5 minutes. Watch carefully because nuts burn quickly at the end. And though this adds a hint of extra flavor, I sometimes skip this step and the romesco still tastes great.

Notes
More On YouTube More on Instagram
Tried this recipe?Post a picture on instagram and we will repost it! Mention @fountainavenuekitchen or tag #fountainavenuekitchen!
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

This recipe is adapted from Alexis deBoschnek’s cookbook To the Last Bite, for which I was a recipe tester. Special thanks to Alexis for allowing me to share my variation (along with her incredible marinated steak and go-to salad) on the pages of this blog. 

Leave a Reply

Make it? Rate the recipe:

Your email address will not be published.

Comments

  1. Sara Bremner

    Hi Ann,
    Just wanted to share with you that our first strawberries are coming in and I made 2 Strawberry pies using your mom’s recipe, that she share with me 45 years ago. She gave this recipe as well as one for beef stew and one for spinach salad ( which I made 2 Weeks ago). At a bridal shower along with a wonderful paring knife. Give her a hug for me. We hope to come to Lancaster sometime this summer, hopefully in June, so that we can lay my mother to rest next to my Dad in Greenwood Cemetery. Hoping we will have the margin to stop by for a short visit with y’all while we are in town. We will be in touch. Please feel free to contact me via email.
    Blessings Sara

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Sara, So nice to read your comment! I think I know the beef stew recipe but not the strawberry pie and spinach salad. How is that possible?! There are a few basic items, which I use regularly, that I received at my bridal shower years ago. Who knew then the longevity some of those gifts would have. I love that the paring knife my mom gave you served you well. I will follow up with an email, as we would love to see you when you’re in town if time allows. In the meantime, sending love to all!

      Reply
    2. Gladdie McMurtrie

      OMG….Sara! That was a long time ago! Old recipes…sometimes some of the best. Hope to see you when you visit.

      Reply