Sunday, April 17, 2011

Recipe: Romesco Potatoes

I am puzzled by how I have gone my entire life without having heard of Romesco sauce before a couple of weeks ago. Simply Recipes posted a recipe in their blog that I was immediately intrigued by. Roasted red peppers, garlic, almonds? Blended and roasted to perfection? Yes, please.

Once I dug around a bit more, I found that this sauce hails from the Catalan region of Spain. The most traditional components are the nuts and red peppers. Garlic and roasted tomatoes make typical appearances as well, but Romesco sauces are that kind of recipe that everyone has their own version of.  The sauce is not meant to be spicy and is meant to have a consistency more similar to a chutney than a smooth sauce.

After cooking this once and exploring some variations, I've settled on the version you see below. I have put the sauce over potatoes and pasta, but I'm nearly certain it would be delicious on almost anything you'd wish pair it with.  The potatoes are especially good because of their texture that holds its own and their flavor that begs for something to take it up a notch.

Romesco Potatoes
Adapted from Simply Recipes and Smitten Kitchen
50 minutes
3-4 servings

  • 1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup almonds, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 12-ounce jar of roasted bell peppers, drained
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Scrub the potatoes and cut into large, bite-sized pieces. Spread potatoes out over a  well-oiled baking sheet, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme. Bake for 25 minutes.
  3. Place the olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.
  4. Saute the almonds, stirring frequently until they begin to brown. Add the garlic and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
  5. Place the contents of the skillet into a food processor with the salt, tomatoes, bell peppers, paprika and balsamic vinegar. Process until mostly smooth (the sauce should remain a bit chunky) and scrape sauce into a bowl.
  6. Remove baking sheet from the oven and spread the sauce over the potatoes. Use as much or as little sauce as you’d like.
  7. Return the potatoes to the oven for an additional 15 minutes. Place any unused sauce in a sealed container and refrigerate.
  8. Remove potatoes from the oven and allow to cool briefly before serving.

Leftover quality: Good

Tips and Tricks:
  1. Top the potatoes with a dollop of Greek yogurt for an additional, cool flavor.
  2. If you want to just make the sauce, follow steps 3-5, then spread the sauce in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
  3. The sauce alone can be stored up to two weeks in the refrigerator and also freezes extremely well.
  4. Use sauce on chicken, pasta, as a spread, or anything else you’d like to pair it with.

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