Romesco is so versatile and a good sauce to have in your toolkit. Double or triple the recipe and use the extra to spread on focaccia sandwiches, add to a grain bowl, or to perk up a fried or scrambled egg. Honestly, it's good on pretty much anything and you’ll be hard pressed to find something it doesn’t complement.
In addition to roasted peppers, we like to use a mix of mild and spicy dry peppers here to lend this recipe a bit more kick. Feel free to adjust as you wish. The dried Lady Choi peppers in your bag are a bit spicier than the Basque peppers. Start with one of each and add another Lady Choi if you want it spicier and/or another Basque if you just want more of that smokey flavor.
This recipe can be easily halved or doubled, use it as your guide!
Smoky Romesco (Red Pepper Sauce)
2 sweet peppers
1-2 dry peppers (see note above)
1 raw garlic cloves
20g ~ 1/4 cup walnuts or hazelnuts, toasted
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Zest of a lemon
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon sourdough bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon aleppo flakes, optional for more heat
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, optional for more smokiness
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, plus more as needed
1 bunch of carrots
Preheat oven to 400 F. Trim carrot tops off, leaving about ½-1 inch of their cute green tops. They’re also tasty and entirely edible, just clean them well. Peel the carrots roughly and toss with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Roast for 20-30 minutes until nice and blistered. A fork should easily pierce through. Set aside.
To roast sweet red peppers, cut in half from top to bottom, leaving tops on and insides intact. Rub a sheet pan with high-heat oil (safflower, grapeseed, sunflower, etc.). Broil peppers on high for 5-8 minutes, until peppers are evenly blackened and charred. Remove from oven and immediately toss into a heat proof bowl and cover with a plate. Let rest at least 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. This will allow them to steam and for the skins to easily slip off. Once cool, remove skins, stems, core, and seeds.
Toast dry peppers in a pan over medium high heat until nicely charred on all sides. Keep careful watch as this happens very fast. Once nice and blackened, submerge in a bowl of water for about 20-30 minutes until mostly rehydrated.
Add garlic and nuts to a food processor or blender and roughly blitz. Add roasted peppers, re-hydrated dry peppers, bread crumbs, parsley, salt, and aleppo and smoked paprika if using. (You can always try it first without the aleppo and smoked paprika and add it at the end if you feel like it needs more spice or smokiness). Blitz again, then add vinegar, lemon juice and zest. Bring it all together roughly and slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Adjust seasoning to your liking.
I like my romesco rustic and chunky, but you can certainly blend it down further into a puree. Spread the sauce over a plate and pile your blistered carrots on top. Top with herbs, flakey salt, and feta if you like.