You are just five minutes and a few ingredients away from one of my absolute favorite sauces – classic romesco sauce! And when I say it’s an easy romesco sauce, it is. Also, it has so much flavor! It perks up any dish you serve it with, and you can serve with a lot of different dishes. Grilled meats? Potatoes? Bread? Shrimp? Vegetables? All of these and more.
This post was originally published on January 25th, 2016. It has been extensively rewritten.
Hello, all. I hope your day is going well!
Do you love quick and easy sauces and dressings as much as I do? I think you do, since you are here reading about one of my favorite quick sauces.
There is nothing like a flavorful sauce to perk up a whole meal. As long as I have a few ingredients in the house, I can whip one of these up at the last minute when I’m looking at dinner and saying ‘this needs something,’ which is a thought that occurs to me rather more often than I would wish. 🙂
Half the time I have dinner all planned out and I know what I’m going to do, and the other half? I’m making it up as I go along. Sauces like this really help the making it up process! Keep a few ingredients on hand for your favorite sauces and you can take the random items in your fridge and pantry and turn them into dinner. Like you planned it. And I won’t tell your secret.
And romesco sauce is the perfect something for so many recipes that it’s one of my go-tos on a regular basis.
Uses for Romesco Sauce
- As a sauce for swordfish kebabs or other fish (this is the classic use for romesco sauce)
- Grilled pork kebabs (pinchos morunos), other grilled meats and chicken
- Part of a tapas platter to dip veggies – like fried cauliflower
- In a Spanish grilled pork tenderloin platter
- A spread for a wrap
- Dipping sauce for fried shrimp fritters or other fritters
- Stirred into soups and pasta sauces
Oooh, or how about roasted potatoes? Or in your omelet in the morning? There are so many dishes which could use a little romesco pick me up that you should totally go in the kitchen and make and batch and give it a try!
One thing classic romesco sauce can’t do though, is make pictures of red sauce in a green bowl look good. Well…I guess the pictures were good but they weren’t great.
The thing about green and red is that they enhance each other. Greens look greener and reds look redder. This can be fine in real life. Or at Christmas. But not so much in food photos!
Just look at the difference between my new photos and my old photos. This is the same recipe made the same way simply using a different bowl. In case you’re thinking, nah she did something, I actually took some photos of the sauce I made today in the green bowl and it looked just as deep red in the photos. Moved everything to the white bowl and now my sauce looks like it does in real life.
So there’s your food photography tip of the day! Don’t take photos of red food in green bowls or plates.
How do you make classic romesco sauce?
To make classic romesco sauce combine bread, almonds, roasted red peppers, hot peppers, spices, olive oil, and vinegar in a food processor. Blend to make a smooth sauce.
- Toast the almonds and bread until lightly browned.
- Dice up a jalapeno and some garlic.
- Add all the ingredients to a food processor.
- Blend until smooth.
This sauce is seriously a ‘dump everything in the food processor, blend, and eat’ sort of recipe.
Okay, you do have make toast with the bread (not difficult!) and toast up some almonds. For the almonds, heat your oven to 350F. Spread out the almonds on a tray and bake them for 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned.
While the almonds are doing their thing, dice up the garlic and hot pepper, drain the roasted red peppers, and measure out the spices. Then put everything into your food processor and blend until (mostly) smooth. I like a little texture in my romesco so I don’t worry about getting it completely smooth.
Tip: If you like a really smooth romesco sauce, use the the blender. Since there are a lot of dry ingredients, blend the peppers and olive oil first, then add the rest and continue until smooth.
If you are looking for more ideas for quick and easy sauces and dips, I have a few!
Quick Sauces and Dips
- Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing
- Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Spicy Green Goddess Buttermilk Dressing
- Blueberry Vinaigrette
- Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Dip
Each of these sauces is quickly made in the blender or food processor, uses a mix of fresh and pantry ingredients (in the case of the fruit dressings you can use frozen fruit!), and has a variety of uses.
They can be dips or salad dressings. Some are great marinades. Any can be used to perk up a sandwich or wrap. Making some simple roasted potatoes or veggies or maybe some grilled or roasted meats? A quick sauce is what you need!
If you try my recipe for Classic Romesco Sauce, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Easy Classic Romesco Sauce
- 1 7-oz jar roasted red pepper, drained
- 1 slice sandwich bread, lightly toasted
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1 tsp sherry vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded
- 1/4 tsp ancho chili powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
- Almonds: Toast the slivered almonds for 3 minutes at 350F.
- To mellow the garlic: If you don't like a strong garlic flavor, cook the garlic in boiling water for 30 seconds before adding it to the food processor.
- Jalapenos: If you can't get/don't have fresh jalapenos, you can substitute in slices of pickled jalapenos.