from Josh Baudhuin of Portland, OR

Romesco Sauce is good as a dip or a spread, great on grilled red meat, lovely on potatoes, and perfect on tortilla espagnol. 

1 T olive oil for roasting 1 head of garlic
2 roasted red peppers (largeish; use 3 if they are medium-sized peppers)
3 roma or comparably sized tomatoes, roasted
about 2 T olive oil, for frying 3 slices ciabatta [or a slice or two of an artisan white will work, too]
3/4 cup roasted hazelnuts
1 1/2 t sweet paprika
1 1/2 t dried chipotle (or hot paprika)
1/2 t dried parsley (or up to 1T fresh)
a scant 1/2 C more of good olive oil
1 T sherry vinegar

To make it: 

Roast the garlic (or use previously roasted garlic). [Peel off excess paper from the garlic head. Chop off tip so that cloves are peeking out. Place on oven-safe ceramic dish (or use one of those ceramic garlic roaster enclosure thingos) and pour the tablespoon of olive oil over the top. Place the dish with the garlic into a cold oven, close the oven door, and then ignite the oven to around 325 or 350, and cook for 50 (no garlic gizmo) or 60 minutes (garlic gizmo).]

When the timer is at about 20-minutes left, put another smallish oven-safe dish with the hazelnuts in with the garlic for the remaining 20 minutes. When the timer goes off, take both out of the oven. Remove the garlic-gizmo cover if you used it and let the garlic cool. Pour the toasted hazelnuts onto a dinner plate and let them cool.

Now roast the red peppers and the tomatoes in the oven. [Preheat to 500 deg. Set up a jelly-roll pan if you have it or otherwise a cookie sheet. Lay a sheet of parchment paper on the surface of the pan, otherwise brush some oil on it. Halve each pepper, clean out the seeds, membranes and stem. Lay face down on the  pan. Halve the tomatoes, cut out the green part, and lay them face down. Brush each pepper and tomato with olive oil. Roast them for 20 or 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and put the peppers and tomatoes in separate bowls; cover each bowl and set each aside to cool.]

Fry the bread in olive oil until golden on both sides. Set aside on a plate to cool.

After the red peppers are cooled, you should be able to peel off the skin more easily. Discard the skins. You can also easily lift the skins from the tomatoes and discard them. Keep the extra liquid in each bowl: it will go into the mix, eventually. 

In a food processor, put the cooled bread and cooled hazelnuts. Squeeze out the garlic into the processor work bowl. Process the contents until reasonably uniform. 

Now add the red peppers and tomatoes, the paprika and chipotle or paprika, the parsley. Process until reasonably uniform. 

Measure out the olive oil and add slowly through the feed tube while the processor is running. Then add the vinegar and mix in and stop. 

Taste the results. Add some salt and pepper to taste and pulse the food processor a couple of times to mix in. 

This yields about 1 Qt of the sauce.


BREAD: The first time I made this I didn't have good bread and substituted a couple of rice cakes for the bread--without needing to fry it--, and I think it turned out perfectly well. 

NUTS: I'm not sure how you can make this without nuts, but there's got to be a way for those who are allergic to tree nuts. The Veggie Cooking for Everyone recipe calls for hazelnuts and almonds. If you have good Oregon hazelnuts, skip the almonds like I did. (The Trader Joe ones are from Turkey and they are bitter.) I have also seen recipes for roasting hazelnuts instruct you to peel off the skins. I haven't got the hang of this and I find it tedious, and I don't think it's important. 

TOMATOES V. PEPPERS: Is this a tomato sauce recipe that uses red peppers or a red pepper sauce recipe that uses tomatoes? The Veggie Cooking for Everyone recipe calls for 4 roma tomatoes and 1 red pepper. I think it needs less tomato and more pepper. 

VINEGAR: I've seen a version of this recipe that call for 1 C of vinegar. The Veggie Cooking for Everyone recipe says 1/4 C but we find that a little too tangy. Even 2 T vinegar may seem tangy, but it's probably tolerable. The Laurelhurst Market recipe is probably pretty light on the vinegar, if it uses it at all. I think it needs some to be authentic, and 1 T seemed to work well. 

OLIVE OIL: You can put less in and it will taste a little less rich, but it will still taste good. 

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