Romesco sauce originates from Spain and is one of my favorite schmootzes. Usually it's enjoyed in the spring as a sauce for grilled spring onions. I've seen versions of it made with walnuts, almonds and pine nuts or a combination of all of them.
Since my other favorite schmootz is muhammara is made with walnuts; I like to use hazelnuts in this roasted red bell pepper spread.
Any leftovers are delicious on sandwiches.
2 ancho chilies, re-hydrated in boiled water, stems removed and then pureed
(cascabel works well too)
1/4 cup EVVO, divided
1/2 cup hulled hazelnuts (almonds are also good)
1 large slice of day old bread, roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups roasted, peeled red bell peppers (about 2 large ones)
1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
1 large tomato, peeled and seeded or 1 cup peeled chopped tomato from a can
(Muir Glen Fire Roasted would be a nice touch)
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. Spanish paprika
flat leaf parsley
Heat a Tbsp. of the olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the hulled hazelnuts and bread. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Place the mixture into the work bowl of a food processor.
Return the skillet to the stove and add the remaining oil, chilies, garlic, bell peppers,sherry vinegar, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the paprika and then place this mixture in the food processor as well.
Pulse the mixture together for as long as you like. I like mine to be a little crunchy so I pulse it until it just begins to form into a puree. Taste for seasoning, add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Garnish with flat leaf parsley.
Serve along side, crostini or with grilled spring onions.