Romesco Sauce

It makes sense that Romesco would come from Catalonia, a corner of Spain that has a firey history of not wanting to be part of Spain at all.  A Romesco sauce doesn’t blend in, it stands out.  It says WAKE UP and LIVE A LITTLE!  It’s snowing like crazy outside which puts me off making today the day that I conquer the world, so I’m making Romesco instead.  Hopefully you’ll have some ancho chiles in your pantry so you can make some too.  Start with 5 chiles–they come completely dried out and need to be soaked in warm water for about 15 minutes after you take off the stems and get the seeds out.  Toast a quarter cup of whole raw almonds, watching them like a hawk so that they don’t burn.  Fry a slice of the best bread you can find in olive oil so that it is brown on both sides. Rip it up.  Chop up the drained chiles and add to the saute pan with a little more olive oil.  Halve and remove the seeds from about 3 Italian Plum tomatoes.  Roast them until the wilt–you can roast a bunch of them and keep the rest for something else.)  Swirl the tomatoes around in the food processor with the bread, the chiles, 1 smashed clove of garlic, a little fresh parsley, a bit of sherry vinegar, the nuts, and about 1 cup of olive oil that you add in a steady stream.  Add lemon juice to taste.  If you have the patience, you do the whole thing in your mortar and pestle.  I still have to buy one that would be big enough.

Serve it with pork chops with greens and polenta on the side.

Leave a Reply