Saturday, 11 February 2012

Romesco Sauce

Saturday's an easy day for me to cook fish as I have time to cycle to the fishmonger, which lies in the opposite direction to the market where I do the vegetable & meat shopping. So after buying lots of great vegetables, including a bucket of tomatoes for $3, I headed over to the fishmonger thinking that I would get some fish that would go well with a recipe I found online for Romesco sauce. Luckily they had some red mullet fillets going quite cheaply, and they're awesome for the barbecue. Sophie's BBQd potatoes clicked into place as the best carb to go with, minus the garlic as the sauce is pretty strong. Perfect summer evening fare, before a trip into town to see Place des Anges flying live over the rooftops of Perth.

I slightly modified the sauce recipe because I don't like the taste of raw garlic, and I didn't have any hazelnuts. I'm also lazy and couldn't see the point of blanching the almonds. This made enough for about eight people, so we had a dollop each with dinner and have been eating the rest spread on bread and vegetables for lunch. Lovely!


  • 6 medium-size ripe tomatoes
  • 1 head garlic, sliced in half crosswise 
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds
  • 1/2 or a whole red chilli, to taste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 
  • 1 slice stale bread

Cut the tomatoes in half equatorially, and place cut-side up in a large roasting dish. Slice the head of garlic in half the same way, and place each half in the middle of the roasting dish, cut-side up, so they are surrounded by tomatoes and in the centre of the oven. Drizzle or brush generously with olive oil and roast for 70 minutes at 200C, until the tomatoes are very soft and going golden brown around the edges. If the garlic shows any sign of burning, put the halves back together. Leave the tomato and garlic to cool properly - at least half an hour.

While the oven is still hot, lay the almonds and chilli on a baking tray and pop them in for 7-8 minutes. Set a timer so they don't burn! Remove the chilli from the tray and soak in boiling water from the kettle for ten minutes.

We're getting really good at making
these potatoes :)
When the tomatoes are cool, pick them up one half at a time, and pinch off the skins. (Eat them if you like, they're delicious!) Drop the rest of the tomato, seeds and all, into a food processor (off). Squeeze the roasted garlic out of their wrappings into the food processor, and discard all the papery skin. Add the salt, vinegar, almonds and soaked chilli, discarding the water. Add about half a cup of olive oil. Blend on medium for 40 seconds or so, then check the sauce - it should be starting to emulsify. If it is very runny, add some of the bread and continue to blend. It should be spoonable, not fluid, and coarse, rather than completely smooth.

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