Romesco to the rescue. I’m a sucker for a snack platter: Colorful crudité, cheese, fruit, you name it. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure way of eating. Just put out all the options and let everyone dig in. Case in point, this Whole30 red pepper romesco with colorful veggies ready for dipping. Beautiful enough to set out for dinner party guests and easy enough to throw together for NCAA snacking, romesco should be your new favorite sauce.
Traditional romesco is typically thickened with almonds and crusty bread, and it’s a great way to use up the dry end of a rustic loaf. Since I wanted my romesco gluten-free, I decided to skip the bread altogether. I’ve since taught the recipe in cooking classes, served it sprinkled on roasted vegetables or dolloped on a plate under crispy roast chicken. Everyone loves it, and when they find out it’s dairy-free, gluten-free and Whole30, they dig in for another helping.
Romesco is a natural with roasted baby potatoes, alongside grilled steak or slathered on a turkey sandwich — the possibilities are almost endless. Since this can be made a couple days ahead, you should make it if you’re hosting Easter brunch or dinner. It’s so delicious, no one will even realize they’re eating super clean.
Red Pepper Romesco
Serve this colorful red pepper sauce as a dip for a vegetable platter, or alongside roasted vegetables, chicken, fish or steak.
- 2 red bell peppers (or a 12-ounce jar of roasted red bell peppers, drained)
- 1 shallot, diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced, about 1 tablespoon
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika (smoked or regular)
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 cup almonds, toasted (I use raw unsalted almonds, roasted almonds are fine too)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2-3 tablespoons water (optional)
If using fresh bell peppers, roast the pepper directly over a gas flame or under a preheated broiler, turning until charred all over. Seal in a paper bag and let cool. Discard the charred skin, stem and seeds. Coarsely shop the bell pepper.
In a food processor combine the roasted pepper, shallot, garlic, vinegar, tomato paste, paprika, parsley, almonds, olive oil, salt and pepper. If the dip seems too thick, thin it out with a little water. Taste for seasoning.
The romesco sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Let return to room temperature before serving.