Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How to Make the Spicy, Sexy, and Seductive Spanish Romesco Sauce

I adore aioli, I secretly love ketchup, and I've had a thing for tzadziki for a long time, but if I had to choose my favorite all-purpose cold sauce, it would have to be romesco. "Sexy" is an overused adjective that chefs toss out to describe food when they can’t think of anything else to say. But, in this case, it is spot-on. Romesco sauce is a classic, very popular, and yes, sexy, Spanish condiment. There are many versions and recipes, but it's basically a spicy almond and red pepper pesto-like mixture.

The reason I love it so much is that romesco sauce is great on everything…literally. From the lightest grilled fish, to the reddest of red meats, to any and all vegetables. I always have a jar in the fridge, and when a dish I'm cooking has that "something is missing" taste - I throw in a spoon of romesco, and usually, things suddenly get more exciting.

This video recipe I filmed for About a while ago just aired, and when I listened to it, I noticed my usual infectious enthusiasm seemed muted. I'm not sure if I was ill, or suffering from lack of sleep, or depressed from checking my donations, but I seemed a bit flat. Ironically, a great thing to make and eat when you are feeling that way is…romesco! Enjoy.

Click here for ingredients and transcript

32 comments:

Jeff said...

Your enthusiasm may have been muted, but the infectiousness was there, and I know infectiousness when I see it-even if I can't type it.

Anyway I admit I don't think I have heard of romesco before. I was hoping to find a great whole snapper, or the like to gril tonight and if I do this will be served alongside.

I kept waiting to hear something witty about that little wooden spoon you were using-it's so cool.

Thanks chef!

Jeff

Chef John said...

Thanks. Sorry about no little wooden spoon joke. How about one now? "...sometimes I just walk around the house with it, pretending to be a giant."

jeff said...

Perfect! I just lol'd-thanks.

Jeff

Mommy said...

Dear Johnny,

So glad to see you are using the toy chef tools I gave you for Christmas when you were three.

Love, Mommy

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef. No tomatoes in Romesco? Thx...AP

Chef John said...

Not in mine. I bet they're in someone's though.

Birder said...

This looks like a gorgeous sauce!

One question though: I can't seem to come by sherry vinegar very easily. What kind of vinegar would you say would be the best replacement for it?

Thanks, Chef!

Chef John said...

tough call, i would try 4 parts white wine vinegar, 1 part red, 1 part balsamic

Anonymous said...

Good with shrimp??

Pascual said...

thank u very much john for this website. we need more ppl like YOU in the net.. im gonna try the cheese, looks amazing :P

"Saludos" from Chile

Anonymous said...

when i got done watching this video i had drool down to my chin

Pearl said...

That's funny, I lived in Madrid for a whole year and I've never heard about this sauce before.

Bill W, NH said...

I'll make this today and have it on grilled fish tonight, I have champagne vinegar on hand, will that work? TIA

Chef John said...

awesome with shrimp

Chef John said...

Pearl, love your name, but you need to get out more.

Chef John said...

champagne vinegar should work OK. Let me know.

noble pig said...

This is my favorite sauce to dip calamari into...I like the spice in this one!

Chef John said...

yes, I think it was created by the food gods just for fried calamari!

Anonymous said...

You Are awesome. i love your foods.

Granny said...

Love the little spoon. I am going to have to search for one. The sauce looked wonderful and I will certainly make it. Fifty years I have been cooking and I am still learning eveyday. A must have is the cute little spoon.

Bill W, NH said...

ok, have made it and tasted it, resting in the fridge now for later tonight. It's nice!! Never having had it before though, not sure if sherry vinegar is better than champagne, will make it next time with sherry to test. Thanks again Chef for a great idea!!! Will let all know how it goes with grilled fish tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

hey.. im deaf well hard of hearing by face to face...
so reading the caption helps! i just love watching how to make something thats caption!!!!! not all talking and guessing and following blah blah... this got words saying what to do! so if you have voice talking add caption is great but this is the one i understand what to do. i look at others i like seeing pixs i see what sizes suppose to be but others then that.. heat and how long etc.. dont know..

The Captain said...

I topped salmon filets with your romesco last night, and it received great feedback. Thank you!

Chef John said...

thanks! that's why you are the captain!

Anonymous said...

Love your Blog, my favorite cooking blog on the internet!! 100x better than any TV chefs. Thanks a lot.

Nan

Marco said...

Hi, It s Marco from Italy. Hav u ever heard of sicilian pesto? It s similar to this...with sun dried tomatos almonds ad ricota cheese

Chef John said...

no, but sounds great!

Jen said...

Tried this last weekend with cedar plank grilled salmon and prawns...oh so good. Well done, Chef!

Michelle said...

I just stumbled across your blog this week, and I love what I've seen so far. I've just whipped up this romesco sauce, and WOW! I'm plotting what all to do with it, and I think tomorrow it'll be shrimp and grits romesco. I put the bit that wouldn't fit in my jar into the barley salad I made this afternoon, and it's dynamite! Thanks, Chef!

Anonymous said...

very good, i just recommended another of your recipes in my facebook, i like your comments too
love the looks of this all around salsa, will try tomorrow

Thanks
Santiago
(Im Spanish guy living in Holland)

Anonymous said...

Dear chef John,
since I am literally addicted to your blog, I keep on going through it and I recently found this amazing recipe -everyone in my family loved it! I would like to make a bigger batch for them, but how long does it keep in the fridge? I know, this is an older post, but can you pleeease reply? Many thanx!

Chef John said...

Sorry, I'm not sure! I've only kept a week or so.