Have you heard of romesco sauce?
You may have heard of it or maybe you’ve even prepared it at home. I hadn’t until I tried this amazing red pepper sauce at a cafe at my workplace. It was to die for. I must have sampled it three or four times before I finally gave in and asked the genial cook which ingredients made up this heavenly sauce. With a smirk he says to me, “secret ingredients.” I flashed one of my polite smiles. I was on my own to duplicate this sauce at home. I knew it was gluten-free because they had an allergen/ dietary preference postcard next to each menu item and I also knew it had some type of pepper because of the beautiful color but beyond that I knew very little.
I begged the cook to tell one ingredient it contained and he told me almonds (funny, almond flavor is really not apparent). To my surprise it turns out this sauce is no secret and contains no secret ingredients. It is a romesco sauce, practically the ketchup of Spain. Another reason why I must travel to Spain soon to expand my palette The sauce originated in northeastern Spain and it is often made to accompany fish.
Based on the 3 ingredients I knew it contained (garlic, bell pepper, and almonds), I experimented a little with the sauce. Since I discovered the sauce, I’ve seen many variations online. Some people cook the sauce but I prefer it raw and fresh.
red bell pepper
soaked almond – look how plump they get once you soak them! I soaked them for about 20 minutes.
This is a very simple, delicious recipe that is gluten-free, vegan and raw but all you really need to know is that it’s amazing. It’s great to top a protein (such as tempeh, fish or chicken). I served it with veggie fajitas, a tempeh dish, and quinoa bites (recipes coming soon). Hope you like the sauce!
- 1 cup raw almonds, soaked*
- 1 large red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- ¾ tablespoon vinegar of your choice (I used apple cider)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- *Soak almonds in advance for at least 20 minutes in room temperature water.
- In a food processor (or blender), combine all ingredients. Process until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Makes about 1⅓ cups.
P.S. Have you heard of ugly vegetables? There seems to be a craze right now on the internet. Ugly one found below.